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OF THE ■ . ■ :• 



1892. • _ 

London : 


London : 

National Press Agency, Limited, 
13, Whitefriaks Street, E.G. 

5 5 -ISO 



A Record of Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. By 
Richard Hodgson, LL.D : — 
§ 1. Introductory ........ 

§ 2. Some Peculiarities of the Trance State . 
§ 3. Hypothesis of Fraud ...... 

§ 4. Hypothesis of Thought-Transference from the Sitters 
§ 5. Clairvoj^ance and Prophecy ..... 

§ 6. The " Spirit " Hypothesis Concerning Pliinuit and other 
Mrs. Piper's Early Trances . 
Phinuit's Account of Himself 
§ 9. Relation of Phinuit to Mrs. Piper 
!^10. Conclusion .... 

§ 7. 

§ 8. 

Detailed Reports of Sittings 
^jjGenei-al Meetings ... 
; On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge on 
S Phantasms of the Dead. By F. W. H. Myers . 

the part of 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring of Phenomena sometimes attribu 

ted to Spirit Agency. By Richard Hodgson, LL.D. 
Record of a Haunted By Miss R. C. Morton 
i he Subliminal Consciousness. Chap. III. Tlie Mechanism of Genius 

Chap. IV. Hypermnesic Dreams. By F. W. H. Myers 
Further Information as to Dr. Backman's Experiments in Clairvoyance 
General Meetings ......... 

De I'Appreciation du Temps par les Somnambules. Par M. J 

I)elbcevf, PrvfesseiiV a I'Universite de Liege 
Some Experiments in Thought-Transference. By Dr. A. Blair Thaw 
The Subliminal Consciousness. Chap. V. Sensory Automatism and 

Induced Hallucinations. By F. W. H. Myers 
Experiments in Thought-Transference. By Mrs. H. Sidgwick and 

Miss Alice Johnson 


I. William Stainton Moses. By F. W. H. Myers 
II. The Second International Congress of Experimental Psychology. 
Supplementary Catalogue of the Edmund Gurney Library . 
List of Members and Associates . . . . . . . . 

List of Members and Associates of the American Branch 













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By Richakd Hodgson, LL.D. 
(27i./s Paper is a sequel to those in Proceedings, Vul. VI., X'P- 4-jG-650.) 


My knowledge of Mrs. Piper began early in May, 1887, aljout a 
fortnight after my arrival in Boston. Professor William J ames men- 
tioned her to me, and apjjointed an hour, without, of course, mentioning 
my name, at which Mrs. Piper could give me a sitting. Mrs. Piper, 
however, was engaged at the time I called, and could see me only tO' 
arrange for a sitting a day or two later. As my readers know, from the 
article in Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. VI., pp. 436-650, Mrs. Piper passes 
into the so-called "mediumistic trance," and then usually purjjorts to be 
"controlled" by a "Doctor Phinuit." For convenience of reference I 
shall speak of " Phinuit " as a distinct personality, and consider later 
some points that bear on the probability or improbability that Phinuit 
is an intelligence entirely separate from the individuality of Mrs. Piper. 
After I had had several sittings I infoi-med Mrs. Piper of my name 
and address, ifec, for convenience in arranging sittings — either for 
myself or for other persons — and I estimate that I have made appoint- 
ments for at least fifty persons whom I believed to be sti'angers to Mrs.. 
Piper. At one time I arranged with Mrs. Piper that she should give 
me the first hour on three mornings of the week for several successive- 
weeks, and I sent persons at these times to keep the appointment,, 
usually warning them not to speak of their intended visit e^'en in the- 
presence of their nearest relatives, while Mrs. Piper knew simply that 
either myself or some person deputed by me would fill each engagement.. 
On a few occasions I accompanied the sitters and took notes of the 

Several times Mrs. Piper was unable to go into trance at all. At 
other times the attempts of Phinuit to give information to the sitters- 



Mr. B. Hod(j?on. 

were not only unsatisfactory, hnt were calculated to produce the opinion 
that he had no supernormal faculty whateA^er, but was " fishing " and 
" shuffling " like any ordinary pseudo-medium, and this opinion was 
produced in some of the sitters, who i-egarded Mrs. Piper as probably 
fraudulent. Others again believed themselves to be, through Phinuit, 
actually conversing with their deceased friends, while others regarded 
the communications as explicable on the hypothesis that Mrs. Piper 
in her trance state possesses the power of getting glimpses into the 
sitter's past experiences, or, to use the phrase of one sitter, of " fingering 
in the wastepajjer basket of our memories." These sittings, therefore, 
were very much of the same character as those already reported in 
Vol. VI. of our Proceedings. Much interest was aroused by these 
preliminary inquiries, which I conducted for my own personal satisfac- 
tion, and finally, in 1888, a serious attempt was made by the Com- 
mittee on Mediumistic Phenomena (apjDointed by the Council of the 
American Society for Psychical Research) to investigate Mrs. Piper, 
and I extract the following from the Report of the Committee {Pro- 
ceedings of the American Society for Psychiccd Research, p. 320) : — 

"During the year the committee, as such, has undertaken the careful 
examination of the resuUs obtained by one well-known ti-ance medium, who 
is reported to liave given to many prudent sitters names and communications 
of such accuracy and fulness that it is supposed tliat such results coukl only 
he reached by some occult agency, or by some mental jirocess whicli is not 
exactly recognised as yet. The committee was of the opinion that the reality 
of sucli phenomena could probablj^ be satisfactorily determined by a series of 
sittings held with suitable sitters under the personal supervision of a member 
of the connnittee and stenographically reported. In this plan we were aided 
very materially by the generous co-oi)ei'ation of the medium, who expressed 
herself ready and willing to act with us in our work. Thus far we have been 
able to have only eight <jr ten sittings in which the desired conditions were 
reasonably fulfilled. Tlie results tluis obtained are not of such a character as 
to warrant any very decided judgment as to the nature of the phenomena 
imder examination, but they throw some light on the questions involved." 

This special investigation ended owing to lack of funds. The com- 
mittee regarded the stenographic reports as essential, and these were 

I had the opportunity of studying the stenographic reports men- 
tioned in the above extract, and also the comments of the sitter and of 
the meml)er <>f the committee in each case. I have also in my posses- 
sion several stenographic I'eports of sittings made at the instance of 
Professor James previous to my arrival in America. In addition I have 
had sittings for the purpose of testing Phinuit's capacities in various 
ways, aiul among them a series of sittings which Mrs. Piper gave 
gratuitously, for the purpose of enabling me to find out what T could 
'from Phinuit, in any way that I chose, concerning his own personality. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


his knowledge, his rehitions to Mrs. Piper, itc. Tliis series of sittings last 
referred to, of which the circumstances at the time permitted me to have 
only five, were stenographically reported, also gratuitously, by a lady 
member of our Society who had had frequent sittings with Mrs. Piper, 
and was well known to the Phinuit personality. Furthermore, I have 
received oi-al accounts from a large number of pei'sons, some of whoin 
hava had frequent sittings with Mrs. Piper for several years, indepen- 
dently of my arrangements. I have before me also the I'eports of Mrs. 
Piper's sittings in England. Mrs. Piper, throughout all my acquaint- 
ance with her, has shown the fullest readiness to accept my suggestions 
in any way whatever for the purpose of ascertaining the meaning of the 
Phinuit personality, and both she and Phinuit gave me full permission 
to try and test in any way that I might think desirable. As my investi- 
gations have proceeded I have been more and more strengthened in the 
conviction that Mrs. Piper's trance is a genuine abnoinial state, and 
that the normal waking Mi's. Piper has no direct knowledge whatever 
of the sayings and doings of her trance personality. That she exhil^its 
supernormal phenomena in the trance state I have no doubt. In brief, 
I find myself in entire agreement with the formal summary report pre- 
sented by Professor Lodge in Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. VI., p. 443, 
which ran, it will be remembered, as follows : — 

"It is the case of a lady who appears to go off into a trance when she 
pleases to will it under favourable surroundings, and in that trance to talk 
volubly, with a manner and voice quite different from her ordinary manner 
and voice, on details concerning which she lias had no information given lier. 

" In tliis abnormal state lier speech has reference mainly to people's 
relatives and friends, living or deceased, about whom she is able to hold a 
conversation, and with whom she ajDpears more or less familiar. 

" By introducing anonymous strangers, and by catechising lier myself in 
various ways, I have satisfied myself that much of the information she 
possesses in the trance state is not ac(:[uired by ordinary commonplace 
methods, but that she has some unusual means of acquiring information. 
The facts on which she discourses are usually within the knowledge of some 
l)erson present, though they are often entirely out of his conscious thought 
at the time. Occasionally facts have been narrated which have only been 
verified afterwai-ds, and which are in good faith asserted never to have been 
known ; meaning tliereby that they have left no trace on the conscious 
memory of any person present or in the neighbourhood, and that it is liighly 
improbable that they were ever known to such persons. 

" She is also in the trance state able to diagnose diseases and to specify 
the owners or late owners of portable property, under circumstances which 
IJreclude the application of ordinary metliods. 

" In the midst of this lucidity a numlicr of mistaken and confused 
statements are frequently made, having little or no apparent meaning or 

" Concerning the particular means by which she ac(]^uires the different 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

kinds of iiifunuation, there i.s no .sufficient evitleuce to make it safe to draw 
any cijnclusion. I can only say with certainty tliat it is by none of tlie 
ordinary methods known t(.i Physical Science." 

... S 2. Some Peculiarities of the Trance State. 

Mrs. Piper seems, so far as my experiments have gone, to be partially 
an;esthetic in the medium-trance. Prr)fessor James tells me that on one 
occasion he found the lips and tongue analgesic. Phinuit claims to 
have neither taste nor smell, and I was unable to get any indications of 
them. Once, however, when I was testing Phinuit's knowledge of herbs 
(see below, p. 51), Mrs. Blodgett was present and tasted one of the 
specimens, whereupon Phinuit put a portion in his mouth, but in reply 
to my inquiry said that he could not taste it. Pliinuit claimed to get 
no sensations of smell fr(»m a scent-bag or a bottle of perfume, — at 
which I was not surprised, since, on a previous occasion, I could not 
detect the smallest signs of discomfort^ after he had taken several 
inhalations of strong annnonia. I took special care to see that the 
ammonia was actually inhaled. Similarly lie appeared to be quite un- 
aware of a spoonful of salt which I placed in his mouth. Dr. C. W. F. 
states (see below. Reports of Sittings, No. 23) that the sense of taste 
Avas in the forehead, but the single incident upon which he founded this 
f)pinion is capable oi another exjilanation. Dr. F. writes to me : — 

Fi'hyvary Wth, 1891. 
"At my first seance with Mrs. Piper, Phinuit said, ' Get the medium to 
cut off a lock of your liair for me to examine and then prescribe some 
medicine for you.' This was done and the medicine sent to me, and I took it 
for a time, and thought it sootlied the bladder. I put a small vial of it in my 
pocket before visiting Mi's. Piper again, as I wished Phinuit to tell me what 
it was. I took it from my pocket during the trance and handed it to her, 
when she removed the cork and wetted her finger either from the cork or 
vial and placed it to her forehead. Phinuit remarked that it was all right, 
correctly prepared. It contained, among other tilings, uva ursi and wild 
carrot. I now remember asking him the question, ' Why was it necessary 
for you to have a lock of my hair to examine before prescribing for me when 
you had me right before you ? ' His answer was to the effect that the 
medicine might be examined liy him after its preparation to see that it was 
all right. He then instanced a case he prescribed for where a wrong salt was 
used by the apothecary to the injury of the lady having the seance. I made 
no further experiment as to the seat of the sense of ta.ste." 

On the other hand. Miss W. relates an incident that seems to l)ear 
on this point (see p. 31), where Phiiuiit apparently went through the 
process of " tasting," and suggested that Mrs. Piper had been eating 
onions. Miss W. further writes : — 

^ Mrs. Piper suffered somewhat after the trance was over. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 5 

"Dr. Pliinuit seemed to ki^te the onion. The tongue moved about in the 
mouth and smacked on tlie lips for several seconds, while I -waited witli much 
curiosity. Neither then nor afterwards did I get any hint of the odour 
rhrougli my own nostrils." 

He localised pinches correctly in vaiious pai-ts of the body, and 
sensations of touch, teinjserature, pressure, and the muscular sense seem 
to be all present, though apparently somewhat enfeebled. The sense of 
hearing is pi'esent, though this seems to vary in hneness to a certain 
extent in different trances. AVhen I made some rough experiments on 
localisation by pinching — sometimes rather severely — Phinuit explained 
that he " lost control " temporaiily of that portion of the body. 
" Makes it like a stick. I have got no feeling in that foi- a time, but 
when you let g(j I feel it again." Later on, unexpectedly, I held a 
lighted match to the left forearm. The arm was drawn away, not 
suddenly, but slowly, as though a vague discomfoit was appreciated. 
" Oui, I feel it," exclaimed Phinuit. " Did you feel pain ? " " No, felt 
cold — cold, I think." I have not tried any severe pain tests. (See 
Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 447.) Whenever I examined the eye- 
balls in the medium-trance I found them rolled up, and the pupils 
reacted to light. They reacted also, I learn from Professor James, in 
the ordinaiy hyjjnosis which he succeeded in obtaining with Mrs. Pi2:)ei-. 
On one occasion, having persuaded Phinuit to stand uji,^ I held the 
eyelids up and ui*ged Phinuit to force the eyeballs into their oi'dinary 
waking position. This seemed to involve considerable effort on Phijiuit's 
part, and Mrs. Piper's face became much drawn and rather ghastly 
during the process. The eyeballs, with a vacant stare, I'emained down 
for about half a minute, though I did not take the exact time, and then 
suddenly rolled uj? again. (At the end of that sitting Mrs. Piper was 
an exceptionally long time recovering from trance. Phinuit had said 
" Au revoir," but after several minutes spoke again in a low voice, and 
complained that he had "got twisted round somehow and could not find 
his way out." After a short interval, however, Mrs. Pijier began to 
come to herself in the usual way.) 

Here I fully expected to have added the report of Mrs. Pipei''s 
physician, who attended her for several months in 1890, and who was 
present at a sitting which Mrs. Piper gave on December 4th, 1890; 
but after hesitating for some time he absolutely refused to make any 
report whatever. 

Dr. Wadsworth, who made aii examination of Mrs. Piper's eyes in 

1 Mrs. Piper stood up without changiug the position of her feet, at the same 
time tluowiug her head slightly back and her chest forward, and thrusting the 
thumbs jauntily into what would have been the armholes of her waistcoat had she 
worn one. 


Mr. 11 Hodgson. 

the normal state, informs me that she has slight astigmatism, l)ut that 
otherwise the eyes are normal in all respects.^ 

§ 3. Hypothesis of Fraud o\ the Part of Mrs. Piper. 

I need hardly say that in estimating the value of my own as of 
iill other sittings, I was comijelled to assume, in the first instance, 
that Mrs. Piper was fraudulent and obtained her information previously 
by ordinary means, such as inquiries by confederates, etc. Not only 
Avas this assumption as to Mrs. Piper's fraud necessary, but it was also 
needful to suppose that she worked herself into a hyperresthetic state 
during which she obtained mucli further information given in various 
ways by the sitter, consciously or unconsciously, by speech, gesture, and 
other muscular action. That I did not olitain a sitting at my first visit 
might be j^ointed to as a very suspicious circumstance, and it might well 
be supposed that, in consequence of my known connection with the 
Society for Psychical Research, Mrs. Piper might have previously "got 
lip " information about myself and othei; active workers in the Society 
in the expectation of future use. The inadequacy, moreover, of my 
notes may also he alleged, since they were not absolutely verbatim and 
my attention was more or less given to the associations connected with 
the information communicated l)y Phinuit. In reply to this I can only- 
say that I have striven Avith the utmost care to avoid attributing to 
Phinuit any statement which might have been obtained previously from 
my own words.- My opinion about my own sittings is that they would 
ap2)ear much more i-emarl^able if stenographic I'eports had l)een taken. 

Now, we cannot argue that the facts i-elated to me by Phinuit were 
jiot such as were likely to have been prov ided by confederates, because 
we must suj^pose that Mrs. Piper has an astuteness at least equal to 
ours, and would theiefore anticipate an argument of this kind. And 
there is hardly any single fact about any single person of which a mediuin 
may not be legitimately supposed to have acquired some knowledge, 
either accidentally or by systematic secret inquiry. The difficulty in 
supposing that Phinuit's knowledge has been acquired in this way is 

^ Exaiiiination hij O. F. Wadswortli, M.D., Boston, Muss. — Mrs. L. E. Piper, 
January 11th, 1891. — Eyes on external inspection normal in appearance. Right eye : 
vision, with — '25 sph. and + 75 cyl., axis vertical, 1^ +. Left eye: vision, with 
+ -50 cyl., axis vertical, +. Reads '.o Snellen 2G" to 9". Field of vision in each eye 
normal. Colour sense normal. Fundus normal. 

- In recording the early sittings both of myself and other persons, my object was 
not so much to note down every word of Phinuit, but to note the substance of sucli 
specific statements as were made by Phinuit without help from the sitter, using, of 
course, Phinuit's words as far as possible. I did not, moreover, anticipate any detailtd 
publicaiton of these early records, which I made for my own satisfaction and for 
subsequent questioning of the sitters, at a time when I was looking forward to a 
systematic examination of Mrs. Piper's trance state by the then existing American 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 7 

owing to the large number of facts communicated concerning a large 
number of different sitters, sj^ecial care having been taken with the view 
of preventing Mrs. Piper's knowing anything of these persons before- 
hand. There is, I think, in the reports which follow, enough evidence 
to show that fraud on the part of Mrs. Piper is very far from lieing an 
adequate explanation, though it is, of course, conceivable that in 
some cases Mrs. Piper, had she been fraudulent, might have acquired by 
ordinary means such information as Phinuit gave to the sitter. Mr. 
John F. Brown, for example, appears to have concluded that this 
supposition, allowing also for guesswork and questioning during the 
sitting, is the actual explanation of his own experiences with Mi's. 
Piper {Jiejwrts of Sittings, No. 13) ; and Professor Henry P. Bowditch, 
M.D., has given me an account of some circumstances which he finds 
hard to explain, except upon the hypothesis that Mrs. Piper was 
acting fraudulently. 

Professor Bowditch had a sitting with Mrs. Piper in May, 

1886, at which the communications were entirely irrelevant. His con- 
nection with the American Society for Psychical Research was 
prominent, and he might have been seen by Mrs. Piper presiding at 
public meetingis, and his name ascertained. He is frequently called Dr. 
Henry Bowditch. An uncle of his, Hem-y I. Bowditch, M.D., was also 
well known as a practising physician in Boston. About December, 

1887, Professor Bowditch, accompanied by his brother's wife, called on 
Mrs. Piper for the purpose of having a sitting. Mrs. Piper, he says, 
declined to give a sitting o)i the plea of ill-health, l)ut held some con- 
versation with them, and presumably recognised Professor Bowditch. 
Sevei-al weeks later I arranged a sitting for them, at the rec|uest of Pro- 
fessor Bowditch, without, of course, mentioning any names. At this 
sitting, which was held on January 17th, 1888, several specific details 
were given which purported to come from a deceased lady well known 
to the sitters. Her Christian name and surname were correctly given, 
and also the place of her death, in Europe ; but the references to Pro- 
fessor Bowditch, his father, and other relatives were incori'«ct as apjjlied 
to him, but would have been correct if applied to his uncle. Dr. Henry 
I. Bowditch, to whom also the deceased lady had been well knowii. 
Moreover, no statements at all were made which appeared specially to 
concern Professor Bowditch's sister-in-law, who accompanied him. It 
was plain to him during the sitting that there was some confusion, but 
it was not till afterwards, in talking the matter over with his sister-in- 
law, that it occurred to him that the leferences would have fitted his 
uncle. Professor Bowditch's inference was that Mrs. Piper had 
obtained information beforehand by ordinary means concerning Dr. 
Henry I. Bowditch, and had applied it to himself, supposing him to be^ 
the person. 


31 r. R. Hodgson. 

Unfortunately no record was made of this sitting, and although 
Professor Bowditch's explanation is the one that would appear most 
reasonable to any person who was not familiar with Mrs. Piper's 
trance state, I think it probable that the incident could easily be 
explained otherwise if we had a detailed report of the conversation 
between Professor Bowditch and Phinuit. In peisonal appearance, 
at least, Professor Buwditch could never Ije mistaken for his uncle ; 
but if we suppose Phinuit to be receiving there and then — from 
whatever source, "departed spirits" or the minds of the sitters — a 
general mass of infonnation alx>ut the Bowditch family, it wovild not be 
matter of surprise that he should Ije confused as to the two doctors 
Henry Bowditch. It would be much more matter of suipiise that Mrs. 
Pi2Kr should make this mistake. It may even be that Phinuit was 
drawing information, not only — at the time of the sitting — from the 
sitters or from some extraneous source, but also from the knowledge, 
conscious and unconscious, jjreviously possessed by Mrs. Piper, and in 
attempting to piece these fragments of information together made some 
mistakes. But in the absence of precise details as to what Phinuit said, 
how far there was mere confusion and how far there was definite mis- 
taken identity, my explanation cannot go beyond conjecture. The i-eader 
may compare the incidents described by Professor Lodge in Proceedings, 
Vol. VI., p. 454 and p. 462 (footnote). 

I have already stated my conviction of Mrs. Pij^er's honesty, and I 
hold further that the reports quoted here — not to speak of those ah'eady 
puljlished in Vol. VI. — establish the existence of some faculty in 
Phinuit which goes at least as far as telepathy. The detailed 
reports themselves are offered as justification for this view, and 
— after what has been ah'eady published — I think it superfluous to 
attempt any summaiy of them for the purpose of proving either that 
Mrs. Piper could not have acquired hy normal means the information 
giveia at the sittings, or that Phinuit, as distinguished from Mrs. Piper, 
could not have obtained all this information by guessing, questioning, 
aiid interpretation of muscular and other indications consciously and 
unconsciously given l)y the sitters. My readers, I shall assume, are 
familiar with the analysis of Phinuit's character and methods by 
Professor Lodge and also with the - to a certain extent complementary 
— analysis by Mr. Leaf. With all their criticisms of Phinuit's " tricks 
and manners " I substantially if not completely agree, and I wish to 
enqohasise this fact very strongly, not because of the mere agi^eement 
itself, but l)ecause it should be understood that I do not pass lightly 
over the weakness and deficiei^cies of the Phinuit personality. Indeed^ 
I have been at sittings where Phinuit has displayed such paltering and 
equivocation, and such a lack of lucidity, that I believe had these been 
my only experiences with him I shoukl without any hesitation have 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


condemned Mrs. Pipei- as an impostor. kSucIi failures appear to depend 
sometimes, but not always, on the sitter. As Phinuit himself confessed 
{May 26th, 1888): "Sometimes when I come here, do you know, 
actually it is hard work for me to get control of the medium. Some- 
times I think I am almost like the medium, and sometimes not at all. 
Then [when the control is incomplete] I am weak and confused." 

Admitting, then, and emphasising the shortcomings of Phinuit, and 
allowing that many statements correctly made by Phinuit might be 
accounted for on the supposition that Mrs. Piper had "got up" the 
information beforehand, I shall here assume that there is nevertheless a 
large residuum to be attributed to some su^ieinormal faculty. From 
this point of view the really important questions for consideration are : 
(1) What is Phinuit? and (2) By what supernormal means does he get 
his information 1 I have no final answer for eithei- of these questions, 
but I think it useful to collate briefly some of the most important 
incidents in the records here published, with the view of showing why 
the most obvious answeis are not entirely satisfactory. In d<jing this 
I propose to follow the example of Professor Lodge (Proceedings, Vol. 
VI., p. 647), and dismiss altogether the hypothesis of imposture on the 
part of Mrs. Piper. - • 

§ 4. Hypothesis of Thouoht-Traxsferexce from the Sitters. 

Consideiing, then, my own first six sittings, I find that all the cor- 
rect (verifiable) statements made by Phinuit concerned matters known 
to me, except the insignificant prophecy that my sister (in Australia) 
Avould soon have a foui th child — a boy. I had no (cojiscious) knowledge 
even that another child was " coming very soon." On the other hand, 
I did not consciously know the Christian name of my mothei''s father, 
though I had probably heard it, and this was incorrectly given as John. 
Further, Phinuit failed to obtain information, or made fundamental 
mistakes, in matters about which my own recollections were very clear 
and vivid. The most striking circumstances correctly mentioned were 
concerning the lady whom I have called " Q." and my cousin Fred, and 
were such as I should expect those persons to select, if in actual com- 
munication with me, as proofs of identity. But then, again, Phinvxit was 
unable to tell me of circvimstances about which I made special inquiry, and 
which were at least as familiar to the alleged " spirit" as those described 
to me. Thus, Phinuit never told me the full name of " Q.," though I 
frequently asked for it at later sittings. His explanation was that " Q." 
refused to tell him, but Phinuit has frequently urged his ignorance on 
this point as a proof that he cannot " read my mind " (an inability of 
which he is very anxious to assui'e me), and I suspect that this ignorance 
may be assumed. However this may be, there is no doubt but that 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Phinuit's unquestionable failure to obtain satisfactory replies to many 
questions which have been asked of the "deceased friends" is a most 
formidaljle objection, as we shall see later, to the " spirit hypothesis " — 
at least, as it is commonly accepted. 

Admitting now that the facts mentioned at these first sittings- 
of mine were drawn by Phinuit from my mind, I must notice 
that they were, certainly most of them, and possibly all of them, 
obtained from my mind at a time when I was not consciously think- 
ing of them, that is, presuming that Phinuit oV)tained his knowledge 
during the sittings. Vivid conscious thinking of a circumstance 
does not seem, indeed, to help Phinuit in any way, ljut rather 
the contrary. Mr. Wendell's experience (Report, No. 21), which 
apparently suggested to him that Phinuit's obtaining the names of his 
uncle and E. was in consequence of their " coming into his head " after 
he had been reminded of their " death conditions " by the actions of 
Phinuit — clutching of throat, gasping — does not, I think, necessarily 
involve any conscious as distinguished from subconscious thought-trans- 
ference, especially if we consider that Mr. Wendell's attention may 
have been temporarily diverted by Phinuit from the thought of the 
name or the personal appearance. (See my remarks about Phinuit's habit 
of turning the conversation away from a suliject upon which infoima- 
tion is sought, p. 14.) 

My conclusion, then, about my own first six sittings is that the 
statements made l)y Phinuit may be regarded as explicable on the 
hypothesis that he had access to portions of my " subconscious " mind. 
The same, allowing for Phinuit's previous knowledge, can also be said of 
the sittings of Mrs. Okie and Dr. Hopkins, and Mr. T. P. Derham, my 
brother-in-law (Reports, Nos. 7, 8, and 9). I understand that all the 
(verified) facts mentioned to Mr. Derham were known to him, though 
some of them were unknown to myself. 

The next reports, in connection with Mrs. Blodgett (Report, No. 10), 
are specially important, owing to Mrs. Blcdgett's attempts to obtain 
from Phinuit a copy of a letter written by her sistei'. Miss Plannah 
Wild, shortly lief<jre death, the contents of this letter being at the time 
of the first experiment unknown to any living person. Mrs. Blodgett 
(of Holyoke, Mass., about 100 miles from Boston), previously unknown 
to Professor James, wrote to him explaining the circumstances of the 
letter written l>y her sister. Mrs. Blodgett thinks that she sent 
Professor James a cojiy of the Woman's Journal containing a notice of 
her sistei''s death, though Professor James has no recollection of this, or 
of knowing even the name of Hannah Wild until the conclusion of the 
first experiment. Professor James suggested tiying Mrs. Pipei". The 
case may be most conveniently considered in four stages. 

(A) The first trial was made eai'ly in 1887. Articles worn by Miss 

Observations of Gertavn Fhcnomena of Trance. 11 

Wild were forwarded by Mrs. Blodgett to Professor James and by him 
to Mrs. Piper's father-in-law, Mr. J. M. Piper, at whose house Mrs. Piper 
was living at the time. Professor James had explained the nature of the 
test to Mr. Piper without giving any names, and Phinuit had requested 
some articles worn by the writer of the letter, to enable him, as he 
alleged, to get into conmiunication with the " spirit." As a result 
Phinuit obtained the name of Hannah Wild, and pei-haps some per- 
ception of her connection with the IVomans Journal, in which she was 
interested and to whose pages she had contributed, also the name of her 
sistei', Bessie (Mrs. Blodgett), to whom she was to give the test, and 
some impression concerniiig the then recent marriage of this sister. 
Beyond these facts practically nothing correct was obtained. Mr. Piper 
had numerous sittings for the purpose of receiving the details of what 
Phinuit gave as the death-bed letter, and was confident that he had 
been conversing with the spirit of Hannah Wild ; yet the description 
given of her personal appearance was almost entirely wrong, Phinuifs. 
letter contained no hint of the substance of the real letter, which Mi s. 
Blodgett forwarded to Professor James^ for comparison with Pliinuit s 
statements, and the numerous circumstances referred to in Phinuit's 
letter had scarcely any relation to the life of Hannah Wild. They 
were chiefly a tissue of incorrect statements. This result so far 
suggested that however Phinuit succeeded in obtaining the names and 
the other impressions which proved to be more or less correct, he at 
least did not get them from the " spirit " of Hannah Wild. 

(JJ) The next attempt made Avas about a year later — May 30th, 18f^S 
— by Mrs. Blodgett herself, who took with her to the sitting, in a small 
bag, -s-arious articles which had belonged to her deceased sister. This 
sitting, at which I was present, was very striking, and contaiaied much 
of the personal element which has led so many to suppose that in their 
sittings with Mrs. Piper they have been communicating with their 
deceased friends. In this case Phinuit "controlled" throughout, and 
professed most of the time to be repeating the remarks of Hannah Wild., 
who was represented as exceedingly anxious to prove her identity tw 
Mrs. Blodgett, frequently affirming that she was Hannah Wild, aiid 
Avould give her sister " that letter." Mrs. Blodgett had carried the 
small bag into the sitting-room vmperceived by me, and had j)laced it 
on the floor behind her. Phinuit groped for this near the begijining of 
the sitting. All the articles in the bag — spectacles, hair, photograph, 
and will — which had belonged to Miss Wild were seized, and various 
details concerning them correctly given by Phinuit, excepting the 
death-bed letter which had been in the bag, wrapped in a rubbei; cloth, 

1 Professcir James i^; the only living person who knows the contents of the letter. 
He read it at the end of the first experiment, and immediately returned it to Mrs. 
Blodgett, in whose possession it has since remained. 


R. Hodgson. 

5ind which Mrs. Blodgett took out of the bag and placed on the floor 
behind her when the bag was opened at the sitting. This letter was 
wrongly stated to be " at home in the box." The bag itself was incor- 
rectly described as Miss Wild's, but it seems noteworthy that Miss Wild 
liad frequently used it. Mrs. Blodgett was not consciously aware that 
her sister's photogi aph was in the bag, yet Phinuit correctly asserted' that 
it was before finding it. tSimilaily Mrs. Blodgett was not consciously 
aware that she had put her sistei-'s thimble into the bag, but "Hannah" 
stated that she saw INIis. Blodgett put it into tlie bag, and Mrs. Blodgett 
afterwards found that she had done so, but had taken it with othei' 
a,rticles out of the bag before starting for the sitting. Mrs. Blodgett 
was doubtless subconsciously aware of both of these facts (compare the 
experiments of Miss X. in Crystal Vision, Proceedings, Vol. V.) ; and 
Professor Lodge has noted the keen " scent " Avhich Phinuit often 
displays for ai'ticles which have been connected with some object which 
he is examining. (See Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 460.) The names and 
other circumstances mentioned at the sitting showed an intimate 
knowledge in some respects of personal matters connected with 
Hannah Wild and her i-elatives, and the l emark made by Hannah Wild 
to Mis. Blodgett when the test letter was put away in the tin box was 
quoted, " It would Ije like linging church bells if I could come back " 
(instead of " the City Hall bell "). With all this personal matter 
correctly given and ]iuiporting to come from Hannah Wild, Mrs. 
Blodgett herself was acquainted. On the other hand, leferences were 
made to a comb and to a Moses which had no significance for Mi's. 
Blodgett, and the attempt by Phinuit to read the contents of a 
letter written by Alice Wild to Hannah was a failure. Also, 
two especially important statements were made about Elizabeth 
Wild and Sarah H(.ds(jn (the full name of the latter being cor- 
rectly given by Phinuit), one of which at least was incorrect. Both 
were friends of Hannah AYild ; the foimer living in Philadelphia, 
the other in Waterbury, Conn. Neither of these ladies was in good 
health when Mrs. Blodgett last heard of them about two years before 
the sitting. In reply to Mrs. Blodgett's question whether " Cousin 
Elizabeth " was living, Phiiniit stated that she had " passed out of the 
body." Sai'ah Hodson, according to my notes at the sitting, was affirmed 
to be living, but according to Mrs. Blodgett's I'ecollections, Phinuit 
stated that she was dead. It was afterwards ascertained that both 
ladies were living at the time of the sitting and in nnich l^etter health 
than at the time of Miss Wild's death. 

1 When Phinuit made tliis statement he could hardly have detected the presence 
of a photogvaiih by normal means, since, as I remember the incident, the photograph 
was of small size — vignette, not cabinet — and the envelope in which it was had been 
placed with other objects in a small parcel not yet opened. The statement may, 
however, have been a likely guess. 

Observations of Certain Phenovtena. of Trance. 

(C) At the sitting on May 30th, 1888, I beheve that some promise 
was made by Phinuit that the letter Avould he dictated to me at a 
later sitting. Mrs. Blodgett sent me a lock of her sister's hair, which 
she had cut from her sister's head after death, and with the help of this, 
on August 1st, 1888, Phinuit gave what purported to be the substance 
of the letter. This was a statement (in general terms, no names being- 
given) concerning a disappointment which j^ievented Miss Wild from 
marrying. Mis. Blodgett refers to it as "the one sorrow of sister's 
life." At a later sitting — October 3rd, in the same year — with thehelj^ 
of a much larger lock of hair and a " tidy," which Miss Wild had 
finished a few days before her death, Phinuit made another attempt, 
worse than before, to give the letter. The statements pui-porting to 
come from Hannah Wild, some of them as the substance of her death- 
bed letter and others in reply to cjuestions which Mis. Blodgett had 
requested me to ask, were almost entirely wrong, though there may have 
been one or two oljscure perceptions l)y Phinuit of circumstances con- 
nected with Miss W^ild or Mrs. Blodgett that had not been mentioned 
in previous sittings. Mrs. Blodgett's tirst husband's name was given as 
John Henry (or Henry John) Clifford, whereas it was John Rothmall 
Barr, although a Mr. John Henry Cliffoid is known to her. The name 
of her son was given as "Willie," instead of "John Marion Barr." Miss 
Wild knew a "Mr. Tom " and his sister, and had talked with him on 
church matters, and worked on the tidy in their presence. In Phinuit's 
letter she is described as having talked on church matters with a 
Mr. Totcn and his sister. There was possibly also a leference to the 
existence of a test between Miss Wild and her sister Alice. But 
the death-bed letter, as we learn from Professor James, was not 
concerned with any of these matters. It will hardly be contended 
that there is any proof here of the actual presence of Miss Wild. 

{D) The last efforts made to obtain the letter, at two sittings 
on May 28th and 29th, 1889, when Mrs. Blodgett herself was again 
present, were equally unsuccessful. On May 28th Mrs. Blodgett 
tested Phinuit with eleven articles, iive of which had been u.?ed by 
her sister. The " iniluence " of Miss Wild was recognised' in connec- 
tion with the five articles which had been used by her, though incorrect 
statements were also made concerning them, and Phinuit (rightly) did not 
connect her with any of the other six articles. A " waist " was rightly 

1 The articles were (1), (2) letter, (3) lock of hair, (4) birds' ej-e.s, (5) pin, 
(G) glove, (7) stocking, (8) box, (11) ear-spoon, (10) probe, (11) chain. Of these articles 
(t), (8), (0), (10), and (11) had been used by Miss Wild. My notes of the sitting are 
specific as to the recognition of (1), (S), (U), and (11) as Miss Wild's, and my impres- 
sion is tliat (10) was also recognised as hers, though my notes do not specifically state 
this. Phinuit failed in ('.'), (3), and (4), was partially right in (.5), getting the 
*' mother's influence " with it, but said nothing at all about ((J) and (7). 


Mr. B. Hodgson. 

said to have Ijeloiiged to Miss Wild, but wrongly alleged to have been worn 
by her during her sickness. And a piece of chain was rightly said to 
have belonged first to Miss Wild's mother and later to Miss Wild, but 
wrongly alleged to have been given to Miss Wild by her mother. These 
two mistakes wei'e likely mistakes for anyone who was somehow aware 
of the connection of the articles in question with particular persons, 
but did not otherwise know the related facts ; and Mrs. Blodgett in her 
notes has drawn special attention to other points in the sitting that 
tell strongly against the presence of the "spirit" of Hannah Wild. 
Thus the " 1)irds' eyes " were not recognised "by Hannah" at all. 
The real Hannah Wild, however — although she had never touched 
them — yet knew all about them, and had been in the habit of seeing 
them for many years. One incident that occurred at the sitting affords 
a striking example of what appears to be a frequent resource of 
Phinuit. Mrs. Blodgett asked who was j^i'csent when her sister 
wrote the letter. Phinuit began to reply, showed some confusion, and 
then abru2:)tly changed the subject, tlius diverting Mrs. Blodgett's 
thoughts from her question and the answer. Shortly afterwards 
Phinuit recuri'ed to the matter, and gave a correct desciiption of the 
circumstances. "She wrote the letter on a stand ; you and sister Alice 
were there. She sat in a chair with big aims to it ; leant back, tired." 

It will be remembered that in some of our experiments in thought- 
transference the result suggested that the percipient might have been 
getting impressions not of the object upon which the agent's attention 
was concentrated at the moment, but of the object j^reviously thought 
of. In a sei'ies of six experiments with diagrams which I made some 
years ago, with myself as percipient, the agent, a lady, discai'ded the 
first diagram made by her in two of the experiments, in one case on 
the ground that it was too simple, in the other case on the ground that 
it was too complicated. She had drawn the figure, tlien crumpled the 
paper and thrown it on one side, and di'awn another. In each of these 
two cases I got a correct impression of the rejected figure (not of the 
adopted figure in any of the trials), and it may even be that when the 
object thought of "at the time" is correctly guessed by the percijaient, 
the impression is in reality obtained by him not while the ol^ject is 
j^erceived by the agent, but during one of those transient mental 
depai'tures from the object which no agent can altogether prevent, and 
which in truth, in the alternate moments, render his own perception of 
it more vivid and, strictly speaking, are necessary for any consciousness 
of it at all. Now I have observed that Phinuit, when questioned about 
points know)! to the sitter, is accustomed to change the subject of 
conversation somewhat abruptly, apj^arently for the purpose of 
absorbing the sitter's waking consciousness by another topic. In the 
meantime perhaps he is — for so his behaviour suggests — grasping at 

Observations of Certain Phenovicna of Trance. 15 

and surreptitiouslyexfinTifiiir^ 'the e5£:prtr5ie'ji?;fe ■>$'llic3Kte' has induced tlie 
sitter to lay on one side. 

There is in this sitting also a good illustration of a clumsy attempt 
by Phinuit to minimise the serious mistake which he made in saying 
that Elizabeth Wild was dead. Mrs. Blodgett had learned that this 
lady was still living, and Phinuit's inquiry about her implies that he, 
too, had acquired this knowledge — may we not assume from Mrs. 
Blodgett at this later sitting ? — and was aljout to evade if possible the 
charge to be brought against him. Making a vague I'emark about being 
"confused" when he made this wrong statement, he changed the 
subject, but later referred once more to the " Aunt Elizal^eth " and 
made some statements about her ill-health, &c., since ascertained to lie 
entirely untrue. These statements were made apparently for the 
purpose of suggesting to us that Phinuit had confused mere illness 
with a death. 

On May 29th one intimate question asked by Mrs. Blodgett, viz., 
what had happened to Hannah that Alice only knew, was answei'ed 
correctly — that something "about mother" had "happened twice, 
and if it happened the third time Hannah would pass out." This 
was as much as Mrs. Blodgett knew, and no more was giA en by 
Phinuit, though Hannah knew more about it, and Mrs. Blodgett's 
living sister knows more. 

The evidence, then, in this series of sittings seems to be A ery far 
from proving the presence of Hannah Wild. Most of the statemeiits 
made by Phinuit are explicable on the hypothesis of thought-tiansfei- 
ence from Mrs. Blodgett's mind ; even the correct statements made to 
myself, months after Mrs. Blodgett had left Boston, Phinuit miglit 
he presumed to have obtained from her duiing her sitting and stored up 
for later use. Still, there are a few circumstances for which this hypo- 
thesis seems insufficient, and among these it ought to l)e said that there 
are some facts which j^riind facie seem to support Phinuit's belief that 
he is aided in obtaining knowledge by handling articles which have 
been used by persons who possess the knowledge. Thus the fact that 
Phinuit got the name of Hannah Wild and other connected facts Ijefore 
Mrs. Blodgett had seen Mrs. Piper at all would he explained if we could 
suppose that, by means of the articles sent originally through Pi(:)fessf)r 
James, he got into some relation with Mrs. Blodgett's mind or the mind 
<)i Professor James. It may be noted, too, that the name of John Henry 
(or Henry J ohn) Clifford was given (incori-ectly given as name of Mrs. 
Blodgett's first husband), while Phinuit was handling a " tidy " which 
had been (probably) worked upr)n l^iy Hannah in the house of Mr. John 
Henry Clifford, and, further, that Pliinuit seemed to obtain a glimpse 
of specific incidents in connection with Mr. Tom and his sister, in 
whose presence Hannah had worked on the tidy. How far the hypo- 

16 ' "•'''iilrfi^'^^^so^:''*" ' 

•<,»•■•,•••• • 

thesis that thesa fa'Gts'.Sut(<J-eSt'. taii be'J^toiiJjfflv entertained, I shall 

afterwards consider. At present I am chiefly concerned to note the 
difficulties in the way of supposing that all Phinuit's statements in 
connection with Mrs. Blodgett's experiments can be accounted for by 
thousht-transference from the mind of the sitter. 

The next incident in the rejjorts which suggests that the hypothesis 
of thought-transference from the sitter is inadequate is the subject of 
No. 15, the announcement to Mrs. William James and Mr. Roljertson 
James that their aunt Mis. AValsh, in New Yoik, had died that morn- 
ing, and that Mrs. James would find a "letter or telegram" to that 
effect when she got home. But this, as Professor James says {^Pro- 
ceedings, Vol. VI., p. 658), may " haA^e been occasioned by the sitters' 
conscious apprehension of the event."' 

In Report No. 19, Mr. "A. Y." states that what a certain person 
was doing at the time of the sitting was correctly described, but it seems 
possible that this might have been susjjected by the sitter. He also 
writes that another person was named, and stated to be fatally ill, a& 
was true, although the fact was not known to Mr. "A. Y." at the time 
of the sitting. But here another hyjjothesis should be mentioned, sug- 
gested by circumstances which have come to my knowledge concerning- 
the sittings of the Rev. W. H. Savage and the Rev. M. J. Savage 
(Reports, Nos. 26 and 27), and to which I shall refer later (see p. 35).. 
Can we he sui'e that no other friend who knew of the illness had had a 
sitting pi-eviously and had provided Phinuit telejjathically or otherwise 
with the information afterwards given to Mr. " A. Y." 1 At the 
same time, there are cases in which this hypothesis is highly improbable, 
such as the case mentioned by Miss Z. (Report, No. 28), who had but 
one sitting with Mrs. Piper, for A\ hich she made engagement herself 
about a week in advance and without giving her name. " In the 
midst of other tests " Phinuit suddenly said that he " saw a lady by 
the name of Marie or Maria, and in the room with her was, she should 
say, her daughter, perhaps, named Estelle or Stella. The lady Maria 
had some trouble on the l)ack of her hands and wi'ists which looked like 
eczema." This was practically true, as Miss Z., who was ignorant of 
the fact, ascertained by writing to her " Aunt Maria living in Vermont, 
some one hundred and fifty miles from Boston, who has a daughter 

i Misapprehensions are so easy that I think it well here to remind the reader that 
for my present purpose I have dismissed from consideration the hypothesis of imposture 
on the part of Mrs. Piper. Referring to the above-mentioned incident from the 
barely evidential point of view I wrote in an article in the Forma for April, 1890, that 
"it might be alleged that the medium, in Boston, had a confederate in New York, 
where the death occurred, who was watching for the death of the aunt, and who 
telegraphed to the medium the information that was given to the sitters. This is far 
from being my own opinion, but I feel bound to mention the possibility of such an 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. IT 

Stella." This incident could hardly have been learnt from the mind of 
the sitter, as she was unlikely to have heard of the trouble with her 
aunt's hands and completely forgotten about it. 

The incident narrated in Report No. 29 might have been among 
the most remarkable of the series had contemporary records been 
obtainable. It appears from the account that Mrs. W. was told by 
Phinuit that her son Nelson — who had been away from home about 
seventeen years, from whom she had not heard for three years, and of- 
whose whereabouts she was ignorant — was coming home, that she 
would hear from Nelson within two weeks by a letter from a friend of 
Nelson's, and that she would afterwards get a letter from Nelson 
himself. These letters came within the stated time, and a later one 
(all three from California) announcing his departure for home. The 
account is given by Mrs. D. (sister of Mrs. W.), who states that Mrs. 
W. informed her of these details of the sitting immediately on her 
return from Mrs. Piper. It is corroborated by Miss Webster (now Mrs. 
Browne, see Report No. 39) — known to me — who states that she heard 
of the incident from Mrs. D. before Mrs. W.'s son had returned. The 
case is a very interesting one, but as the account was written nearly 
two years after the event, and we cannot question the sitter, Mrs. W. 
herself, who died two months after her son's return, we can hardly use 
it as a basis for any new theory as to Phinuit's capacity. It may be 
well to point out, however, that the experience, as it stands, seems 
explicable on the hypothesis that Phinuit got somehow into relation 
with the mind of Mrs. V/.'s son Nelson. 

Mr. A. J". C. (Report No. 32) was informed that his niece had " a 
humour, a breaking out." He was unaware of it, and the statement 
was correct, but he was also incorrectly told that his sister had trouble 
with a tooth. 

Another case which loses much of its value from not having been 
I'ecorded in writing until a year afterwards is the report (Report No. 34) 
given by Mr. and Mrs. " M. N.," both personally known to me, but 
not, so far as I am aware, residing in America. According to the 
account, the death of Mr. M. N.'s father was foretold as about to 
happen in a few weeks. It occurred suddenly a few weeks afterwards, 
ill England, from heart-failure. Mr. M. N. probably knew that his 
father had been suffering from an attack of bronchitis. Two or three 
days after the death Phinuit described some of the details of his 
father's will, and claimed to have influenced his father, while yet alive,, 
on these matters ; but the most extraordinary part of the account is 
the statement that Mr. M. N.'s sister in England, who was chiefly at 
her father's bedside the last three days of his life, said that her father 
" had repeatedly complained of the presence of an old man at the foot 
of his bed, who annoyed him by discussing his private afifairs." Miss 



Mr, R. Hodgson. 

*' M. N.'s" testimony, however, at present is only second-hand ; and I 
do not recall any other testimony to the appaiition of Phinuit (?) except 
an incident related by Mrs. Holmes (who assisted me in several experi- 
ments with Mrs. Piper, see Reports Nos. 45-50), whei'e there is nothing 
to show that what was seen was any more than a purely subjective hallu- 
cination. The receipt of a special letter which Phinuit correctly prophe- 
sied for Mr. " M. N." might possibly have been anticipated in the sitter's 
unconscious mind ; but the statement that a relative had a sore or 
wounded thumb — afterwards verified — was probably entirely beyond 
the knowledge of the sitters. 

Mr. Rich (Report No. 40) was informed of mistakes made by his 
coloured cook in the preparation of medicine, and afterwards verified the 
statements made by Phinuit, though he was ignorant of the circum- 
stances at the time of the sitting. He was also informed that he had 
a sister who was born dead (premature birth) some years before his own 
birth, and, so far as he knew, he first heard of the fact from Phinuit. 
He was directed by Phinuit for verification to his " aunts," from one 
of whom he did, in fact, obtain confirmation of the statement. 

But the strongest evidence that Phinuit is not confined for his in- 
formation to the knowledge of the sitter is drawn from the records of 
experiments with locks of hair and other objects. Ccp.teris paribus, 
information volunteered, so to speak, by Phinuit, can never be so valu- 
able evidentially as information obtained in response to determinate 
experiment. Thus, for example, the chances that Phinuit may have 
ascertained from previous sitters, telepathically or otherwise, the infor- 
mation desired, are vastly reduced when the choice of subject lies with 
the sitters and not with Phinuit. Three notable instances of experi- 
ment on this line are described by Professor Lodge {Proceedings, 
Vol. VI., pp. 458-463), and there are not a few cases in the reports here 
■quoted. Let us take a brief survey of these. 

Discovering somewhat early in my investigation that Phinuit 
claimed to o]:)tain special information from locks of hair, which he re- 
commended should be enclosed in silk or tinfoil, I procured some locks 
of hair from friends in England, arranging that I should be ignorant of 
their associations. Those which I tried under these conditions were 
complete failures (Report No. 41, 1-5). In another case a lady, Mrs. M., 
known to me, sent from England, at my request, a lock of her own hair. 
This evoked from Phinuit a general description of character, true as far 
•as it went, and some other details about which I was ignorant, and 
wliich were chiefly wrong (Report No. 41, 6). These trials, of course, 
suggest that when Phinuit does recognise a lock of hair, it is by direct 
telepathy, but I venture to think that we must hesitate before adopting 
this explanation, as Phiiiuit's success in " recognising " locks of hair in 
many other cases is certainly remarkable. A lock of hair from Hannah 

Observations oj Certain Phenomena of Trance. 19 

-Wild, deceased, was at once recognised (Report No. 10). In another 
case (Report No. 12) two locks of hair, known to the sitter, were 
given successively to Phinuit. These had been close together for a 
.short time, and Phinuit complained of their being " mixed." His 
remarks about each lock of hair would have been almost entirely 
correct, so far as they went, if applied to the other. Miss Savage (Re- 
port No. 25) took three locks of hair to her sitting. One of them was her 
mother's hair ; this was correctly stated by Phinuit, and her mother's 
ill-health was correctly diagnosed, other details concerning the family 
being also given. These facts were known to Miss Savage. The other 
two locks of hair Avere given to her by Mr. Day, and Miss Savage was 
n.inaware to whom they belonged. One of them was recognised as be- 
longing to Ml', Day, concerning whom additional facts wei-e given ; but 
as Mr. Day had previously had a sitting with Mis. Piper, we may sup- 
pose that these statements were possibly reminiscences from this previous 
sitting. As to the third lock of hair, Phinuit could only say that it 
had not been cut off near the head, and had. been handled by too many 
people ; and, in fact, it had been cut off near the end of the hair, and 
had passed through several people's hands. Miss Z. (Report No. 28) 
took two locks of hair, knowing to whom they belonged — her brother 
and the Rev. M. J. Savage. It does not appear that Mr. Savage's own 
name was given by Phinuit, but he was unmistakably signilDed by the 
aiames of other members of his family and his relationship to them. 
In connection with her brother's hair Miss Z. received her brothei''s 
name — Charlie — and the details of an incident in her brother's life 
about his spending a night with Ned M. or N. just before this Ned 
died of consumption. All that Miss Z. knew consciously was that 
a poor boy of whose last name she was not sure, and whose first name 
she had never heard, had died several years before of consumption 
and that her brother had been kind to him. She leaint afterwards 
from her brother that the statements made at the sitting were true. 
Ned's surname began with N. Mrs. G. H. Browne (Report No. 39) 
took two locks of hair, apparently knowing from whom they were ob- 
tained. Phinuit demanded both of these before he described either, 
on the ground, seemingly, as he has frequently put it at other 
times, that the " influences " had got "mixed," and he wished to dis- 
entangle them. The characters were correctly given from the locks of 
hair and the full name correctly stated in connection with at least one 
of them, viz., "Bertram Ellis." Mr. Rich (Report No. 40) took a lock 
of hair, knowing that it belonged to a friend's sister, but descriptions 
unknown to him were given of persons said to be connected with a fire 
(about which the owner of the lock of hair was specially interested and 
wished him to inquire), and these descriptions " tallied perfectly with 
that of the parties suspected." Again, a lock of hair belonging to a 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

friend was at once recognised as his by Phinuit when Mr. Rich pre- 
sented it. Miss E. G. W. (p. 32) mentions the incident of her sending 
a lock of liair of a sick friend from a distance to Mrs. Piper, and the 
complete failure of the test. The lock of hair sent to me by Mrs. S., 
from Albany, N.Y., suggested to Phinuit a strange mixture of truth 
and error (Report No. 41, 7) ; l)ut the correct statements might have 
been chiefly guesses depending upon the fact, known to the sitter 
(myself), that the hair was white. 

On May 28th, 1891, I gave to Phinuit some hair carefully tied up 
with silk ribbon, which had been in my possession about six months, 
and came, as I knew, from a cat which I had seen in Baltimore. It was 
given to me while on a visit in Baltimore by a young lady of the family, 
with whom the cat was a vei^y great pet. None of the family had ever 
seen Mrs. Piper. Of coiirse, I gave no intimation to Phinuit that the 
hair was other than human, though this would be revealed by its 

" Lady in connection with this that's passed out of the body not long ago. 
I see a big black grey cat, and I see, oh, a funny looking cat, kind of a pet. It 
lays dcvvn on a rug a good deal. Tlie lady that gave it you . . . it's a 
general pet, a big fellow." (Go and try to get cat's name.) "This cat was 
ill a little while ago, — didn't eat much. Great big nice fellow. Mary con- 
nected with it, in body . . . elderly lady, aunt, I think, passed out of body 
some time ago. Will get more another time." 

At the close of a sitting on June 4th, 1891, I asked for the name of 
the cat, presenting the hair again. 

"Sounds like PicL" 

Phinuit then wrote what might be interpreted as Pisk or Disk, but 
more probal^ly Pisk. 

" I think it's Pete,— P—e—t—e. .No, Peek " ' ' • 

On July 10th, 1891, I tried the hair again, and Phinuit said : 
"Name sounds like Pich. Girl has headaches a good deal in sur- 
roundings of this one. . . . There's four of them, five of them. One 
of them's away. Think it's a cousin ; tliink they call him Fred. The lady 
Mary wears glasses, you know, occasionally." 

The cat is of enormous size, of uniform purplish grey colour (no 
black). Mary is the first name of the mother of the family to whom 
the cat belongs. This I had forgotten, but knew " subconsciously," as 
it appeared in her signature to the account of some experiences which 
I had read, her first names being written Mary E. The cat's name, as 
I knew, was Dick, and that Phinuit should finally give Pick for 
Dick is curious in connection with the precisely similar approxima- 
tion in the case of Professor Richet's dog. (^Proceedings, Vol. VI., 
p. 620.) 

Immediately after the sitting on May 28th, I wrote to the lady who 
'gave me the cat's hair, who informed me that there had not been any 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


death of an " elderly lady aunt," and there had not been " deaths of 
any such members of the family for years " ; also that the statements 
about the cat (on May 28th) were " not correct in any one particular"; 
also that the Mary in her mother's name " was completely droj^ped, and 
to her family and friends she has always been Lily and Lizzie " (her 
name being Mary Elizabeth). To my further inquiries, after the later 
sittings, I have received no reply. I vaguely recalled having seen 
Mrs. [X.] wear glasses, but could not recall having heard that either of 
the daughters had headaches. On these points I have learnt through a 
friend [November 2nd, 1891] that Mrs. [X.] does wear glasses 
" occasionally, but not regularly," and that the daughter who gave me 
the hair " has suffered from terrible headaches until recently." I have 
not yet succeeded in obtaining information concernijig the other points 

But it is not merely " locks of hair" that appear to set Phinuit on 
the track of events that may or may not be known to the sitters. Any 
■object, if it has been handled or worn much and ahnost exclusively by 
specific persons, seems to serve equally well. Indeed, though not 
enough experiments in this direction have as yet been tried to 
warrant me in making any final statement about this, the conclusion 
is strongly suggested that on this path Phinuit is most relialjle, though 
not by any means infallilale. At least I think that he is much more 
likely to succeed with the help of such objects than without them. It 
is quite conceivable, of course, that Phinuit's belief that such articles 
act as clues may itself influence his success, even though that belief 
be merely subjective. 

At my fourth sitting (Report No. 4) Phinuit was able to tell me 
that I had "lost something," and after handling my keys gave a 
fairly detailed description of the jalace in the mountains where I had 
lost a bunch of keys, between two or three months previously ; but, 
oddly enough, he insisted that the keys were still in the mountains, 
much as if a picture of the place had been suggested to him with the 
keys lying there as a part of the scene ; and this, moreover, after the 
keys had been returned to me. Somewhat similar was Phinuit's 
detection that Mr. Derham (Report No. 9) had lost a " funny round 
thing, a ring thing . . . black fellow got it," Mr. Derham 
having left his field-glass in the train at Niagara, and suspecting that 
the conductor, a coloured man, had taken it. But in this case it does 
not appear whether Phinuit obtained a " clue " from some specific 
object worn by Mr. Derham at the sitting, or, v/ithout such help, by 
direct telepathy. In the experiment made by Mre. Blodgett (Report 
No. 10) the name Hannah Wild was correctly given by Phinuit as the 
wearer of a glove and a hat-lining, but, besides this, Phinuit made a 
large number of other statements in connection with Hannah Wild, 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

nearly all of which were wrong. At later sittings other articles belonging 
to Hannah Wild were immediately recognised as hers. (See Report 
No. 10, and see also pp. 11-15). The stone presented by Miss Z. 
(Report No. 28) appai-ently afforded a clue to the personality and 
surroundings of the owner, and possibly to the circumstances under 
which he first obtained it. The " piece of embroidery " tried by Mr. 
Rich (Report No. 40) produced the name of the sailor who made it. 
More important still, Mr. Rich took a box, of the contents of which 
he knew nothing, and Phinuit described correctly the person X. wha 
gave Mr. Rich the box, the person Y. who had provided X. with the 
article for the expeiiment, and the person Q. who had given the article 
to Y. The article in the box was described by Phinuit as a " charm " 
and " glittering," and as having been brought from " far off over the 
sea " ; it was a cai'ved " but not glittering " button brought from 
Japan, and " latterly worn as a charm with a gold attachment." Mr. 
Rich also tried a dog's collar, with which Phinuit got the description 
of the dog and his names, Rovei' and Grover, these circumstances being 
known to Mr. Rich. Miss Edmunds (Report No. 43) was correctly told 
that her locket brought her grandmother's "influence," and that she 
had had it since she was a little girl, also that her watch had been 
given by her father to her aunt, who had given it to her ; these state^ 
ments being made after Phinuit had handled the objects. A little box 
in which her father used to keep coins was also recognised as having 
contained "little shiny things" and having been connected with her 
father. At a sitting on June 25th I presented a bookmark which 
Miss Edmunds had placed between cards to jDrevent injury, and the 
history of which was known to her l)ut not to me. Phinuit recognised 
Miss E.'s "influence" in the cards, but was comi^letely wrong about 
the bookmark. At a later sittiiig Miss E. herself took the bookmark,, 
and Phinuit obtained its " associations " : that it was connected with a 
little girl pupil — described — of Miss E. ; that Miss E. had heard from 
her when she was. ill ; that she was dead. The names Emma and 
Maria were given, and a message was offered from Maria to Emma, and 
Gideon was said to be a cousin. These statements were correct, Maria 
being the girl's name, and Emma the name of her mother. All these 
circumstances were known to Miss E. Two other statements about 
which Miss E. was ignorant were made in connection with the book- 
mai'k, and she has not yet been able to ascertain whether they ai-e true 
or not. 

The pen which Mrs. C. presented (Report No. 44) was at once 
recognised as bringing the " influence " of her deceased husband, and 
Phinuit was conscious of another article on the person of Mrs. C. that 
was also her husband's, and finally named the watch. " Your husl)and 
says it's his watch, but it's not his chain." Mrs. C. had temporarily 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


forgotten that she was wearing her husband's watch, which she had 
carried for about a month, having broken her own. She had taken her 
husband's chain off and put her own on. 

Now some of these incidents are explicable on the hypothesis of 
direct telepathy from the sitter, though even in these the object seems 
to sei've in some way as a link of association ; but in others this hypo- 
thesis is inadequate, as in the case of the box taken by Mr. Rich. The 
evidence, of course, in the cases which I have thus briefly sunnnarised is 
too slender to afford a substantial conclusion, but the expei'iments 
recorded in the last series of sittings — those held since Mrs. Piper's 
return to America — go far to conlirm the view that it is not necessary 
that the sitter should be aware of the associations of the object, but 
that contact with the object itself, independently of the sitter, in some 
way enables Phinuit to obtain correct information concerning its- 

In experiments T made in connection with Mrs. Holmes (pp. 139, 140), 
the first two locks of her hair presented — the one by myself who knew 
to whom it belonged, and the other by Miss R. who knew nothing 
about it — both failed as clues ; but a third lock, which — unlike the 
others — had been cut close to the head, was immediately recognised by 
Phinuit as the "same influence." I presented this on June 5th, 1891, 
at the latter part of the sitting (the first part of which had been 
occupied by the objects sent to me by Mr. "V.," see p. 132), and 
Phinuit at once began to make statements which suggested that he was 
getting veridical glimpses of some kind owing to the lock of hair. 
Among other things Phinuit stated that the owner "had something the 
matter with her foot " and that she " had to have something done to it 
not long since and it is a curious coincidence that the letter of Mrs. 
Holmes accompanying the hair mentioned an accident to her son's foot, 
and also enclosed a letter from this son describing the accident. I may 
have read these letters hastily, when I received them, on June 4th, the 
day before the sitting, but could not recall the incident of the "foot." 

I draw attention here to a " trivial " circumstance, which in itself 
proves nothing, because I think it, nevertheless, may indicate a possible 
cause of some of Phinuit's mistakes, or apparent mistakes. At one of 
my early sittings I handed Phinuit an envelope addressed to myself, con- 
taining a letter. Phinuit gave a correct general description of the 
writer and gave the single name William in connection with it. This, 
though correct, was, of course, not remarkable, but Phinuit went on 
then to describe a lady also in connection with it — tall, fair, <fec. Later 
on in the sitting I gave Phinuit another envelope, and after handling it 
he at once exclaimed that this was the " influence " he had described 
isreviously in connection with " the gentleman " ; that I had got them 


i/r. R. Hodgson. 

mixed " ; that it had nothing to do with him. The description as first 
given did suit the writer of the second letter, viz., Mrs. Piper herself.' 

Returning to the experiment of June 5th, some of the correct state- 
ments made by Phinuit concerned matters known to me, but of most of 
them I was ignorant, and Phinuit was wrong in describing the hair as 
grey and black, whereas I knew that it was grey and brown-gold- 
Similarly, most of the statements at the later sittings referred to matters 
unknown to me, though I had visited Mrs. Holmes, had seen the house 
and surroundings, and met the members of her daughter's family. I had 
also met Miss Eleanor or Ella B., whose first name was given as Ella by 
Phinuit. The apparent success of Phinuit in locating Mrs. Holmes at 
the sitting of June 10th led to my requesting her to make notes of her 
doings on June 15th at the time of my sitting. This, unfortunately, 
she did not do until after she had received my report of the sitting. 
According to her annotations, the following statements made by Phinuit 
were approximately correct as regards her doings close to and during 
the hour of the experiment, but Phinuit's description did not coincide 
exactly in time with her actions, but were given about half an hour later. 
Phinuit stated that she trimmed some flowers and put them in a vase ; 
that she sat down at a desk to write, and that Charles was on the 
paper in front of her ; that she went to the window to speak to a man, 
that she pulled something down at the window and retui'ned to the desk ; 
that she "pawed over a box of things." Phinuit also stated, incor- 
rectly, that she had a parcel like a book in her hand that she had been 
reading, had thrown a wrap over her head, had on a dai'k dress with 
little light spots in it, was doing something to a picture, and, later, was 
doing something with a brush. 

The correct statements appeared to be so much more than could 
be due to chance that I requested Mrs. Holmes to write out her doings 
hetween 11.15 and 12.30 on June 23rd and 24th, sign the record and 
obtain the corroborative signature of her daughter, Mrs. K., and mail 
her account at once to Professor H. P. Bowditch, to whom also on 
the day of the experiment I sent a copy of my notes of Pliinuit's 
statements concerning the doings of Mrs. Holmes. These two sittings 
I regard as failures on tlie part of Phinuit to see what Mrs. Holmes 
was doing at the time, but to the student of the detailed accounts 
(Rejjorts Nos. 45 to 49), with the comments of Mrs. Holmes, it will, I 
think, be strongly suggested that Phinuit in some way was getting 

^ I asked Phinuit whether the writer of this second letter was " in the body " or 
"in spirit." He replied at once, "In the body," but added: "Why, no; that's 
curious. There she is in the spirit, talking- to an old lady. " This appeared to be- 
wilder Phinuit, who, after some soliloquising and mumbling, went on to another sub- 
ject. Several times at the close of later sittings he referred to the "medium" as 
"coming back," " laughing," "asking questions," " trying to touch the sitter," &c. 

Ohservations of Certain Pltenomena of Trance. 25 

glimpses into the mind of Mrs. Holmes, was reading off some of her 
j)ast experiences (i.e., past before the moment of Phinuit's statements), 
and that some of these occurred as recently as, say, half an hour 
previously ; though certainly Phinuit was not clairvoyantly then and 
there perceiving what Mrs. Holmes was doing. 

A similar conclusion is suggested by the attempts of Phinuit 
to describe my doings on July 1st (Report No. 50), and the doings of 
Mrs. Holmes and myself on July 6th (Report No. 51). In this sitting 
•of July 6th, 1891, Phinuit located me incorrectly at two different 
places, his description of which indicates circumstances of my holi- 
days in the summer of 1S90, and although, after handling the envelope 
addressed by me, Phinuit corrected these mistakes and located me in 
my own rooms, he may have acquired this information thi'ough the 
leading question asked intentionally by Miss Edmunds, who knew 
where I was. Still, even in this case, and putting on one side the 
knowledge that he may have obtained telepathically or otherwise 
from Miss Edmunds concerning my doings, Phinuit seems to have 
given more correct iixformation concerning my actual doings than can 
be accounted for by mere chance ; that is to say, if as much success 
were obtained in a large number of experiments, we should infer that 
Phinuit was exhibiting some supernormal faculty beyond that of 
thought-transference from the sitter. 

This general conclusion is greatly strengthened by the results 
of a sitting on October 16th, 1891 (Report No. 53). Miss A. 
took with her to the sitting three articles, of the history of which 
she knew nothing — a locket, a ring, and a watch. The locket she 
obtained the evening before through a lady friend whom she met 
by accident in the street. This friend, at Miss A.'s request for 
a " personal article of an individual unknown to her," called at the 
office of a gentleman whom Miss A. had never seen (she " knew only 
his surname in a casual way ") and procured from him the locket. It 
was wrapped in a paper envelope, and Miss A. did not look at it till 
the sitting was over. Inter alia, the owner of the locket was correctly 
described as being physically well, handsome, of light hair and com- 
plexion, as having a big head, and as being immensely extravagant, as 
writing and dictating (letters, &c.) a great deal. Phinuit stumbled 
round and about the names J oseph and George in his attempts to get 
the owner's Christian name, mentioning both (and also we must add 
J udson) without affirming either to be the name. Joseph George were 
the owner's first names. After the locket Avas opened, which con- 
tained a picture of the owner's mother on one side and some hair of 
his father and mother on the other, Phinuit correctly got the father's 
and mother's " influence " from the hair, and apparently connected 
the name Elizabeth with the hair and the picture, Elizabeth 

26 Mr. R. Hodgson. 

being the name of the owner's mother. Tliere seemed, indeed, to be 
some confusion between the "influences" of the owner and those of his 
mother ; and in connection with the latter, apparently, various names 
were given, of which the owner knows nothing. He knows, however, 
very little of his mother's family, and apparently is not interested 
enough to make the iiKjuiries necessary for corroboration. 

Miss A. knew, \mt not intimately, the owner of the ring and the 
watch, Phinuit said that the ring brought a lad influence — that there 
was an insane lady connected with it who began to lose her mind at 
an eai-ly age, and that another person connected with it died with 
cancer. Concerning the watch Phimiit said that it came across the 
water many yeare ago, had been in Italy ; that it had the influence of 
a gentleman who had died ; that the owner had a sister named Annie. 
The name Elizabeth, Eliza, Lizzie was given in connection with the 
watch. Phinuit said that he saw the watch in a box with other 
trinkets kej^t in cotton. The names, John, Joseph, and Jennie were 
finally given. All these details proved to be correct, except the name 
J ennie, the owner's mother being named Jesse [Jessie ?]. 

The name of a relative Henry was given as having been connected 
with some " printing " establishment, and also the name Davis. It 
was further stated that a Henry gave the watch to Elizabeth. I j)yq- 
sume that these details are incorrect, though the report is not quite 
clear upon this ]>oint. The i:)resent owner was wrongly called a man. 

The ring and watch, it appears, were kept in the same box. John, a 
"bad character," had given the ring to the present owner, who suspected 
him of having stolen it. John's father had repudiated a debt to the 
owner's mother ; he died of cancer in the stomach. The owner's sister, 
named Elizabeth, and called Eliza and Lizzie, suffered a great fright at 
the age of three years, from being left alone in a burning house, and 
" gradually became entirely idiotic." She was for many years under 
the sole charge of the owner of the ring, and as the watch amused her, 
it was f retjuently given to her by the present owner's mother, to whom 
it came at the death of the uncle Josef^h. The watch, Geneva make, 
had been bought aljroad by Joseph, who lived for some time in Italy. 
Several additional correct statements which were made in connection 
with the articles, but not mentioned in the rejjort, were i-egai-ded as 
too private for publication. 

Miss A.'s own view appears to be a form of that suggested by several 
previous reports, and particularly in connection with Mrs. Blodgett's 
experiments, that the information given by Phinuit was obtained in 
some way from the objects themselves, to the exclusion, that is, of 
individual minds either of the living or the dead. Miss A. stated, in 
reply to my inquiry, that Phinuit did not profess to obtain his infor- 
mation (concerning the objects) from "spirits." "Lie gave no iutima- 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 

tion that he was getting his facts frum anyone, ' in ' or ' out of the 
body ' ; the impression conveyed was rather that he was ferreting about 
for himself in some obscure way for the information asked." It is 
probable, however, that if Phinuit had been questioned on this point he 
would have claimed that his information was derived from the deceased. 

Thus (March 21st, 1888) : Phinuit : " Who's Margaret in your family ? " 
R. H. : "Can't you tell nie that?" Phinuit: "It's your mother." 
[Correct.] R. H. : " Who told you that ? " Phinuit : " Your father." 

Again, I placed in Phinuit's hands a pencil-case with the initials 
■J. B. upon it, saying that I had received it from a friend who waiited 

to be told who gave it to him. The name of John B was given 

correctly, but he has a middle name which was not given at all. (That 
he had a middle name was known to me at the time, though I cannot 
recall that I had ever heard what it was, beyond the initial letter.) 
Then :— 

" George gave it to him. I get the influence of Elinor and Palline, and 
a young man. No, it wasn't George, cross that out. It was Harry or 
Henry, and Harry's sister's influence was connected with it before he gave it 
to hira. That is all I can tell you." "How did you get to know this ? " 
" J B 's wife in spirit told jue. She's gone away now." 

Pauline is the name of Mr. B.'s eldest daughter, and Eleanor is the 
name of one of her most intimate friends. But Miss B. and two other 
members of Mr. B.'s family (not himself) had previously had a sitting- 
each with Mrs. Piper, and the names Eleanor and Pauline had been 
given at Miss B.'s sitting, at which her mother, deceased, was also- 
referred to. All that was cori'ect was in my mind, consciously or 
subconsciously, but what I desii'e specially to emphasise here is that 
while Phinuit's language — about " getting the influence," Arc. — did not 
suggest the " spirit " hypothesis, but rather the contrary, he claimed, 
on being questioned, that he received his information from a "spirit." 
Further, he has recently expressly disclaimed any power of obtain- 
ing information from objects themselves indejaendently of specific 
personalities. . • . . , 

§5. Clairvoyance and Prophecy. - . . .• . 

At different times, I have tried a few experiments for " clairvoy- 
ance," presenting envelopes containing writing unknown to me, and 
turning the hands of a hunting-watch so that I should be ignorant 
of their position. Phinuit disclaimed any ability to tell the contents 
of the letters, but thought he could " feel," through the case of the 
watch, the positions of the hands. The results, however, on that 
occasion did not justify his belief, and I did 2iot repeat the watch 
experiments. (See Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 457.) 

Several incidents recounted in the reports suggest that Phinuit may 
have " prophetic " power (see especially the cases related by Miss W., 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

p. 34, and Reports Nos. 34 and 36), but there are other cases, besides those 
mentioned in the report, wh.ere Phinuit has made specific prophecies 
which were unfulfilled, and without a tolerably complete record of both 
the fulfilled and the unfulfilled predictions, we cannot conclude that his 
successes, allowing for supernormal knowledge of the present, are more 
than would be due to chance. But I think that while there is no 
evidence at present worth detailed consideration, for the view that 
Phinuit possesses any power of premonition, in the strict sense of the 
term, there is enough evidence to make it desirable to record his 
*' prophecies " most carefully in future. 

§ 6. The "Spirit" Hypothesis concerning Phinuit and other 
■ . " Controls." 

It now becomes necessary to take into more direct consideration 
the assertion which Phinuit persistently makes concerning himself and 
his communications, that he is the "spirit" of a once but no longer 
living human being, that he occupies Mrs. Piper's organism during her 
trance, and receives direct messages from the " spirit " friends of the 
:sitters. This, as is known to the readers of the previously published 
reports, is the invariable form of Mrs. Piper's trance, save that other 
"controls," who also profess to be "spirits" of once living human 
beings, occasionally take the place of Phinuit. 

Now, the status to be assigned to Phinuit will depend, partly on his 
own account of himself — with verification or otherwise — our opinion of 
his veracity, the conclusions we may reach concerning his " powers," &c., 
jind also upon the impressions produced by the other alleged "controls." 
Thei'e appear to be at least three instances of other " controls " in the 
following reports (Reports Nos. 16, 30, and 40. See also Report No. 
35). But the fullest account which I have received concerning other 
controls " is given by Miss W., a most excellent and discriminating 
witness. Other members of her family have also had sittings with 
Mrs. Piper, and they form such an important contribution to our study 
of Mrs. Piper's trance personality that I quote Miss W.'s account in 
this part of my article.' Miss W. has had forty-five sittings with Mrs. 

1 My attention was first called to the sittings of the W. family by a message given 
by Phinuit in the latter part of January, 18110, while Mrs. Piper was in England, and 
forwarded to me by Mr. Myers. " Little Katie W. is very sorry (in the spirit world) 
that the little dog Gyp has been run over and had its foot hurt. Her father 
(William W. ) has had a cold, but is better. " Mr. W. 's address was sent to me, having 
been obtained from Mrs. Piper. I wrote to Mr. W., informing him that I had 
received a message from his daughter through Mrs. Piper, but wished, before deliver- 
ing it, to ask him some questions. He called upon me on February 11th, 1890. H. : 
" Have you a little dog Gyp? " W. : " Yes." H. : " Is he all right ? W. : " So 
far as I know ; he v/as all right when I left home this morning." H. : " Gyp has not 
had any accident within the last few weeks?" W. : "No; he had an accident last 
fall some time. He was run over by a milk-cart, and one of his toes was nearly cut 

observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 29 

Piper between November, 1886, and June, 1889. She has witnessed 
four controls — Phinuit, her mother's stepmother, and two friends. 
These personalities appeared very different from one another. Miss 
W. has made a careful record of her sittings, usually taking notes 
during the sitting, and writing out her detailed account the same day. 
Her father has also had many sittings, unfortunately not recorded, at 
most of which his daughter Katy, who died in 1871, when but three 
months old, purported to control directly. Her mother has had one 
sitting, not recorded, and her sister. Miss M. A. W., has had thi'ee or 
four sittings, also not recorded. Miss W. states that the majority of 
her own sittings contained practically no indifferent matter, but some 
of them contained a good deal of irrelevant talk such as might have 
come from a stranger to her, although her personal friends pui'ported 
to be speaking ; and on these occasions, although the thread, so to say, 
of the personality was kept up, there was nothing that actually sug- 
gested the actual presence of her friends. She has received at the 
sittings numerous correct statements of facts concerning herself and 
her friends, living and dead, and, among them, many which she regards 
as too personal for publication. Especially, allusions have been made 
to circumstances known to no person living but herself, yet known to 
the person from whom they purported to come, and who had died 
between one and two years previously. . 

3Iiss E. G. W.'s Acconnf. of Sittings with 3Irs. Piper. 
My forty-five sittings with Mrs. Piper cover the period from November 
12tli, 1886, to June 19th, 1889. In forty-one of these the control was taken, 
for at least a part of the hour, by a jjersonal friend whose subjects of con- 
versation, forms of expression, and ways of looking at things were distinctly 
unlike either Mrs. Piper's or Dr. Phinuit's. The clearly-marked personality 
of that friend, whom I will call T., is to me the most convincing proof of 
Mrs. P.'s supernatural power, but it is a proof impossible to present to any- 
one else. Messages, in some instances characteristic, were received from 

off." H. : " Was this referred to by Mrs. Piper?" W. : "I have no remembrance 
of any such reference ; indeed, I do not think I had a sitting with Mrs. Piper after 
the accident occurred." 

H. : " How has your liealth been ? " W. : " Pretty good." H. : " Have you had 
a cold ? " W. : " Well, I had a cold in about the latter part of November, and it 
held on so tenaciously that I thought I might have to go South." H. : " When did 
you recover from it?" W. : " Well, it was worked off very slowly; if I had to 
state the time when I recovered from it, I should say, perhaps a month ago. " 

Further conversation made it clear that the accident to the dog occurred before 
Mrs. Piper left America in 1880, but it appears that no members of Mr. W.'s family 
saw Mrs. Piper between the time of the accident and Mrs. Pijjer's departure for 

Mr. W. mentioned some incidents which had occurred at his own sittings, and 
stated that one of his daughters, then in Italy, had made careful notes of her 
experiences. This led to my obtaining an account from Miss W. herself. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

«ther friends, but no long-sustained conversations were held save with T. 
and Dr. Phinuit. T., who was, while living, a Congregational' minister, 
talked of religious subjects (of which Pliinuit disclaimed either interest or 
knowledge), of professional matters, of our large circle of mutual acquaint- 
ances, and of many private affairs known only to liimself and me. 

T. was a Western man, and the localism of using like as a conjunction 
clung to him, despite my frequent correction, all his life. At my sitting on 
December 16th, 1886, he remarked, "If you could see it like I do." For- 
getful for tlie instant of changed conditions, I promjitly repeated, " J.s I 
do." "Ah," came the response, "that sounds natural. That sounds like 
old times." 

March 1st, 1888, he requested, "Throw off this rug," referring to a 
loose fur-lined cloak which I wore. I noted the word as a singular designa- 
tion for such a garment, and weeks after recalled that he had once, while 
living, spoken of it in the same way as I threw it over him on the lounge. 
Februai-y 18th, 1887, T. remarked, " I like your arranc/ement here," 
referring to a new gown by a term which he was wont to use. 

March 2nd, 1887, came this : "I never knew you had a little sister here. 
She tells me she has heen hei'e a long time, ever since she was a little 
toddling baby." Certainly not I, nor Mrs. P., who has children of her own, 
would speak of a four months old child as a ^''toddling baby." It is more 
thinkable of a man who, like T., never knew anything of young children. 

I have received from T., dictated through Mrs. P. to her husband and 
sent me by post, seven letters at intervals from November 29th, 1886, to 
January 22nd, 1889. Each contains some unintelligible matter, but each 
contains familiar allusions and the old-time opening and closing phrases, 
either of which is too long and individual to have been merely chanced upon. 
The post-office address of the first is worth mention. Mrs. P. had learned 
from me neither name nor residence, nor had any other than my pet name, 
Nellie, been given at the sittings. On November 16th, 188G, Dr. P. told 
me that T. was dictating a letter to me. "How will you address it?" I 
asked. " T. knows your address and will give it to the medium." November 
■29th, a friend, who had been sitting with Mrs. P., brought me word that 
the promised letter had Ijeen mailed to — 

Miss Nellie Wilson, 

Care David Wilson, 

Reading, Mass. 

By applying at the post-office at Reading I was able to obtain the letter. 
I alter the names, but these points may be noted : — 

1. My surname is given correctly. 

2. I have a cousin, David Wilson, of whose relationship^ and friendship 
T. was well aware. His home, however, has always been in New York. 

3. Reading was my home during my childhood and youth, but I removed 
from it thirteen years ago. I knew T. only subsequent to that removal. 

4. While living thei'e I wrote my name with the diminutive, Nellie, but 
since then have preferred to write my baptismal name Ella, or merely the 
initial E. T. was wont to use the initials merely. 

At my next sitting, November 30th, I inquired about this mongrel addres.s. 
■"T. was not strong enough," said Phinuit, " to direct where the letter should 
be sent, but he thought your cousin David would attend to your getting it. 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 31 

Your other friends here helped us on the rest of the address." "But they 
would not tell you to send to Reading." " Yes, they would, they did. It 
was Mary told us that." " Nonsense," said I, thinking of a sister of that 
name. ' ' Not Mary in the body. Mary in the spirit. " ' ' But I have no such 
friend." " Yes, you have. It was Mary L.— Mary E.— Mary E. Parker told 
us that. " I then recalled a little playmate of that name, a next door neighbour, 
who moved away from Reading when I was ten years old, and of whose deatli 
I learned a few years later. I had scarcely thought of her for twenty years. 
The " E." in the name I have not verified. 

I quote two tests of partial clairvoyance. March 2nd, 1887, I was asked 
'bj my mother to inquire the whereabouts of two silver cups, heirlooms, 
which she had misplaced. Said Dr. P. : " They are in your house, in a room 
higher up than your sleeping room, in wliat looks to me the back part of 
the house, but very likely I am turned round. You'll find there a large chest 
filled with clotliing, and at the very bottom of the chest are the cups. Annie 
[my mother's name] placed them there and will remember it." Returning 
liome I went to a room on the third floor at tlie front of the house, but 
remotest from the stairway, found the chest (of which I knew) and the con- 
tents (of which I was ignorant) both as described, but no silver. Reporting 
the message to my mother I learned that she had at one time kept the cups 
in that chest, but more recently had removed them. 

February 11th, 1887, my sister L. wished me to ask Phinuit where she 
should find her missing card-plate. To be thoroughly explicit, I took her 
calling-card with me and placed it in Mrs. P. 's hand, inquiring, "Where is 
the plate from which this is engraved ? " Phinuit replied, "You will find it 
in a box with a brush and a bottle. The box is in the house where you live, 
in a drawer under something that looks like a cupboard or closet or some- 
thing of that sort. There are soft things cluttered up in the drawer." L. 
and I searched together all possible places, and finally concluded that the 
"cupboard or closet " might be the stationary washstand in her bedrooili 
which is set into a recess with shelves above and drawers below. The second 
of these three drawers, of whose contents I knew notliing, we found filled 
with loose pieces of woollen and muslin, and under these pieces a small box. 
The box contained specified box and bottle, but instead of L.'s card-plate her 
stencil-plate. We subsequently wondered that the mention of brush and 
bottle had not forewarned us of this mistake, but it had not. 

I am asked if I have any indications that Mrs. P. is ignorant of her 
vitterances during the trance. These five instances may bear on that 

1. November 26th, 1886, Phinuit, on taking control, tasted for several 
seconds and then began, "The medium has been eating that nadij thing, 
what do you call it ? " I had perceived no odour, but suggested " onions." 
"Yes, that's it, you must excuse it." After the trance I asked Mrs. P. if 
she had eaten onions lately. She said she had yesterday, and asked was it 
possible that any unpleasantness lingered in her breath ? 

2. March 2nd, 1887, T. controlling, remarked, "The medium's hand 
feels numb. I can't use it well. It doesn't seem natural, "i I rubbed it a 

1 At a sitting which I attended on February 20th, 1888, Phinuit declared that 
one of his thumbs "belonged to the medium," and added, "I cannot move 
that."— R, H. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

little and gilt the acknowledgment, " That helps it." I asked Mrs. P. later- 
if her hand was hurt, and slie said, "No," adding after a moment, 'T 
jammed it slightly this morning, but the pain was gone long ago." 

3. At the same sitting T. narrated how a few days before when he was. 
dictating a letter to me " there were some tilings about her ears I didn't: 
like." "Earrings?" "Yes. They got in my way and I couldn't hear 
well. You never wore such things and I never did, so I asked the gentle- 
man in lier surroundings [Mr. Piper] to liave them removed." This incident, 
was substantiated. 

4. More than once in the winter of 1886-1887 T. spoke gratefully of ' ' the 
medium's great kindness in letting me come and talk with you." To this I 
always assented. From my sitting of February 18th I quote, " Tell me, 
how is it about talking with me here 1 Do you pay anything to come 
here ? " 

5. March 15th, 1887, T. observed, " This medium is good and true. I 
am glad to say that because I used to think she was a fi-aud. Do you 
remember?" "No; I didn't know you ever said so" — thinking only of 
communications received thrfiugh her. " Why, yes, last summer, wlien 
you sent her a lock of my hair. Don't you remember ? " I then recalled 
that during T.'s fatal illness in June, 1886, I had won his reluctant consent 
to send Mrs. P. a lock of his hair. I first heard of her at that time, and 
faintly hoped that a clairvoyant might diagnose a malady which pliysicians. 
had failed to reach. The diagnosis proved worthless, and T. had freely 
characterised the Avhole thing as trickery and fraud. I have never mentioned 
that correspondence to Mrs. P., and since I wrote her from a distant city, 
she is not likely to have associated it with me. 

Somewhat analogous to the incident of the bruised hand is this : — A_ 
friend, H., was visiting me who during his childhood and youth had been, 
paralysed throughout his left side. He had so far recovered that a slight limp 
and a little awkwardness in the use of the left hand were the only indica- 
tions of tlie illness. H., interested in our account of Mrs. P., arranged for 
a sitting, but, alone among tlie many whom I have sent to her, was disap- 
pointed ; the trance would not come on. He went again in the evening, 
October 23rd, 1887, and I went with him to establisli comnuuiication. He 
had a long and, he assured me, satisfactory conversation with Dr. Phinuit, 
during wliich no allusion was made to liis former invalidism, or to the failure 
of tlie morning. At my next sitting. Dr. Phinuit asked, " Who was that 
here with you the other day 1 A fine fellow, but I found him very hard to 
talk witli. Some queer things about him. All the way down this side 
[indicating the left] I couldn't get hold of him or get any magnetism from 
him. But I would not be so impolite as to tell him so." Unwonted reserve 
for Dr. Phinuit ! 

These three cases suggesting clouded vision of pliysical things interested 
me : — 

1. December 16th, 1886, I mentioned to T. that I had recently met D., 
a foi'mer acquaintance of his, and asked if he remembered him. " Yes, I 
remember D. , but not in your ijresent surroundings, nor in X. [referring to a 
former home]. It was in D.'s surroiuidings that I knew you first, but not in 
his home. He has not a church, but a large house, an institution to take 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 33 

charge of." My request for fuller particulars was met by a promise to think 
of the matter and tell me at my next visit. December 21st, T. introduced 
the subject, saying, " I was to remember about D. It was in his institution 
that I met you first. I think the institution was for poor people, sick 
people." " No, that is wrong." " I cannot tell why it seems to me like a 
hospital, unless because so many of the people that I'm working among here 
have come from hospitals." I first met T. when he was visiting at a Western 
college, of which D. was president and I a teacher. 

2. February 11th, 1887, T. remarked, "I saw you lately working at 
your desk with your back toward the window, the light. But what is that 
large piece of furniture at the right of the door in your room 1 " For the 
purpose of misleading I suggested, "A tabled" "No, that is at the left." 
After several leading questions from me he concluded it might be the book- 
case, which it was. Question from me : "If you see the furniture so 
indistinctly, are you quite sure whom you saw at the desk ? " An emphatic 
affirmative, with a denial of any analogy between me and the book-case. 

3. Late in June, 1887, Mrs. Piper went yachting with us for an after- 
noon. At my next sitting, July 1st, T. said, ' ' I saw you with the medium 
the other day riding along in a very large vehicle of some sort. I could not 
make out what. It moved so quietly and gently, 'twas as if on a carpet. 
But it was not. It was clear, and I could see into it." " Was it a carriage ?" 
" Oh, no ; larger than that. And it was not moving on the ground, either." 
"A balloon, perhaps?" "No, I couldn't see as clearly as if it had been air." 

"Well, if neither earth nor air, it must have been " " Water, of course. 

That was it. You were in a boat. Strange that I could not see it ! " 

The scepticism of one, B., with whom he had much in common, had 
seemed a matter of concern to T. He spoke of it November 26th, 1886 : " I 
remember how we used to talk about this [spirit-control], and how set against 
it B. was — like a wall. He thinks so yet." December 16th, 1886, he again 
introduced the matter, saying, "I notice your father has a letter from B. 
How strongly he holds his old notions. He's determined not to admit any- 
thing in this, isn't he 1 " The letter, whose contents were correctly sum- 
marised, was received by my father that very morning. I did not know of 
its arrival until my return home after this sitting. In July, 1887, B. visited, 
my father and the two had a sitting with Mrs. P. At my next visit, August 
5th, T. thus spoke of it : "I have seen B. He seems changed and so 
inquisitive. I do not remember him so. But he seemed to think we- 
difierent." I learned afterward from my father that B.'s conversation had. 
been a bombardment of questions. 

On one occasion my mother went with my father to Mrs. P.'s. On 
my next visit, August loth, 1887, T. spoke of it with pleasure, but 
added : " This seemed so strange. A little while after she was here I heard, 
her say to your father, ' It did not really seem like T.' It was on the piazza 
that she said it." I verified this on reaching home. Nothing of the sort 
had been said to me. 

January 5th, 1888, I was told, "Here is somebody who says he is your- 
grandfather. He is tall, wears glasses, and is smooth-shaven." "Which 
grandfather ? " " He gives his name F." " Yes, it must be my grandfather- 
F., if smooth-shaven." "Well, it is. But do you mean that your grand- 



j\Ir. R. Hodgson. 

father E. wccars a beard?" "Yes." "I think you must be mistaken." 
"No ; I am sure that he did." " T never see him so, and I see liim often." 
My grandfather E. died before }ny birtli, but I felt sure tliat he had been 
described to me as full-bearded, like his son. But my father, when appealed 
to, disajjpointed me. "No, you are wrong," he said; "I am like him in 
figure and features, but not in cut of beard. He was always smooth-shaven." 

Here are tlie most significant projjhecies. Tliere have been others, ful- 
filled and unfvillilled — about half of each. 

In tlie autumn of 1886 my young brother, K., started in business. He had 
had slight experience, had given no marked promise, and those who knew 
him best were not confident of success. At my first sitting, November 12th, 
1886, Dr. Phinuit's first words were of K., calling him by name and assuring 
me that he was bound to get on ; there was no trouble about him. He would 
do finely. At nearly every sitting during the winter Phinuit recurred to the 
subject, asserting, with laughaljle emphasis, " K.'s the fellow for me. He'll 
get on ; he'll get to the top. He may not care so much for books as some of 
you, but he's sure to succeed." K., while not yet at " the top," has wholly 
disajjpointed the fears of his fiiends, and has established (March, 1891) an 
influential and profitable business. 

On January 5th, 1887, T. brought me the message : " N. is here and has 
something to tell you. She says O. is to be married in the spring." N. was 
a friend who had died five years before, and whose widowed husltand, O., I 
saw not infrequently. " Preposterous I " I replied. " It cannot be N. who 
tells me that." " She does not ask you to believe it. She simply a.sks you 
to hear it. She knows you would rather hear it from her than from any 
other source. And she would like, too, that you should remember it as a 
little test that it is she who is speaking to you." Then followed a somewhat 
extended conversation in which N. took positions which I was forced to 
admit were characteiistic. Her first assertion, however, was so violently 
improbable to my mind that I attached little importance to it all. The 
prophesied marriage occurred, however, in the following Jinie. 

In the spring of 1888, an acquaintance, S., was suflTering tortining 
disease. There was no hope of relief, and only distant prospect of release. 
A considtation of jdiysicians predicted continued physical suffering and 
})robably mental decay, continuing perhaps through a series of years. S.'s 
daughter, worn with anxiety and care, was in danger of breaking in health. 
"How can I get her away for a little rest?" I asked Dr. Phinuit, May 24th, 
1888. " She will not leave her father," was his reply, " btit his suffering is 
not for long. The doctors are wrong about that. There will be a change 
■soon, and he will pa.'^s out of the body before the summer is over." His 
■death occurred in June, 1888. 

E. G. W. 

I have also received from Miss W. the accounts of several other 
incidents, the details of which she gave to nie before writing her genei al 
report. One of the communications from Phinuit that seemed specially 
striking in the first instance has lost much of its significance owing to 
facts wliicli I have ascertaintd from Miss W. The Rev. W. H. Savage, 
at a sitting on December 28th, 1888 (see Reports, Nos. 27 and 28), 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 35 

Teceived a message for his brother, the Rev. M. J. Savage, purporting 
to come from the Rev. Robert West — full name and description given 
— regretting a certain article which he had wiitten against the Rev. 
-M.. J. Savage in a paper called the Advance, and naming correctly the 
^•ause and the date of his death. At a sitting on January loth, 1889, 
.the Rev. M. J. Savage also received a communication purporting to 
fome from the Rev. Roljert West, in "which the place of his burial and 
the text on his tombstone were correctly given. All these circum- 
stances were unknown to the sitters. Now, Miss W., it appears, was a 
friend of the Rev. Robert West, and aware of the text on his tomb- 
stone. The Rev. Robert West has purported to communicate directly 
with her, v/ithout the intervention of Phinuit, and early in 1888 
(February 2nd) referred to '- a blue-eyed. In-own-bearded man, about 
my age [Jr2], who comes here, named 'Savage,'"' and wished Miss W. 
to refresh his (West's) memory about Mr. Savage, whom he claimed lie 
used to know in the West. Miss W. put some leading questions with 
this object in view, and Mr. West then referred to the article in the 
Advance, which Miss W. had not specially mentioned, but about which 
she knew. There were also allusions, at her sittings in the early jDart 
of 1888, to the text on the tombstone and the place of burial. It 
seems clear, therefore, that all the information which was given to the 
Rev. W. H. Savage and his brother might have been obtained previously 
from Miss W. without supposing any more than telepathy from the 

The above is the simple outline of the case. The full details are 
.somewhat more complicated, and appear to be as follow : — 

On February 2nd, 1888, "Mr. West" gave to Miss W. a general 
personal description of " Savage " which would suit well enough either 
M. J. Savage or W. H. Savage. Miss W^. did not know whether the 
description was applicable or not, but supposed at the time that M. J. 
Savage was meant, for she did not know of the existence of his brother. 
But Mr. West never knew M. J. Savage in the West, but he did know 
W. H. Savage thei'e, both being Congregational ministers at the same 
time in towns not very far apart in the State of Illinois. On May 
24:th, 1888, "Mr. West" stated to Miss W. that he had (since February 
2nd, 1888) seen Mr. Savage and communicated with him. "I had a 
talk with Mr. Savage. Dr. Phinuit was talking with him, and I said 
to the doctor, ' I think I know that gentleman.' So he told Mr. 
Savage, who asked me to come. I told Mr. Savage about a good many- 
things in my life, about my illness, itc, reminded him of that note we 
jjublished. He remembered it very well, said he did not think it quite 
the right thing, but was ready to overlook it." 

Mr. M. J. Savage did not remember any such sitting, and 
in reply to my inquiry stated that he had no recollection of 


Mr. R, Hodgson. 

attending any sitting between February 2nd and May 24th, 1888. 
I discovered, however, that during this interval Mr. Savage had 
visited Mrs. Piper, not as the " sitter," but as an officer of the 
committee of the A.S.P.R., accompanying the sitter and a steno- 
graphic reporter for the pui'pose of sujjervising and adding com- 
ments concerning incidents at the sitting which were not likely to be 
noted by tlie reporter, and avoiding, as far as possible, communications 
to himself. He received no communication from the Rev. Robert 
West at this sitting (March 7th), as I have ascertained from an exami- 
nation of the stenographic report in my jDOSsession. Mr. W. H. Savage 
also believes that he did not visit Mrs. Pijser at all between those dates. 
It is, of course, just possible that since Mr. M. J. Savage forgot that he 
had any sitting at all with Mrs. Piper between the dates of February 
2nd and May 24th, 1888, whereas he was certainly present at an im- 
portant official sitting between those dates, he might have also had 
another sitting as alleged ))y " Mr. West," though perhaps he was 
hardly likely to forget such a conversation as that described on May 
24th to Miss W. Recently (November, 1891) I questioned Phinuit 
about this incident and quoted Mr. Savage's statement that no such 
conversation had occurred. Phinuit purported then to get into com- 
munication with '' Mr. West," and stated in exjalanation that it was 
proljaljly his (Phinuit's) fault, that Mr. West had given him the mes- 
sage to deliver, and he had forgotten it, and told Mr. West that it 
would be " all right, or something of that sort," thus giving rise to 
another misunderstanding on the part of Mr. West that ]\Ir. Savage 
had offered a communication in return. But this explanation seems 
somewhat inadequate when we consider the exjjlicit account given to 
Miss W. on May 24th by " Mr. West." 

Again, at Mr. M, J. Savage's sitting on January 15th, 1889, 
when he received from " Mr. West " the information about the place 
of burial and the text on the tombstone, the Rev. C. L. Goodell 
purported to be present (Report, No. 27). Mr. Savage was unaware 
of his death, but afterwards ascertained that Mr. Goodell died early 
in 1886. Miss W. writes to me : " Dr. C. L. Goodell was an 
acquaintance of mine. His name was mentioned to me (at a sitting- 
with Mrs. Piper) with a message of i-egards on December 16th, 1886, 
and several times thei'eafter." Dr. Goodell was also known to the 
Rev. Robert West. 

Taken altogether, the incidents form a curious series of events. 
The jjerson unfamiliar with, and incredulous of, the possibilities of 
trance states like Mrs. Pijjer's would naturally infer, on reading 
the accounts given by the Rev. M. J. Savage and his brother, 
that Mrs. Pijier had " worked up " the cases of West and Goodell by 
ordinary means of inquiry. The firm believer in " spirit control " 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 37 

would probably conclude at once that the Rev. Robert West and Dr. 
Goodell were personally communicating. But while we cannot say that 
this second view is absolutely untenable, there remains another expla- 
nation, that Phinuit, drawing his information from Miss W. telepathi- 
cally and by conversation, and knowing (as Miss W., consciously, did 
not know) that both M. J. Savage and his brother had talked with him 
and were likely to come again, stored up the information for future 
use, and found the first favourable opportunity on the visit of W. H. 

In the light of the foregoing incident we are, I think, bound 
to regard several other peculiar cases of which accounts have been 
furnished to me by Miss W. 

On March 23rd, 1887, Miss W. received a communication from 
" Mr. AVest " to this effect : " Katy asks, Do you know Mabel 
Fuller 1 She lived in Lake City and was drowned there some six or 
eight years ago, while skating on the lake with John Gerster." On 
March 31st she was further told : "It was in Lake Pepin she was 
drowned with Gerster some seven or eight years ago. Her father's 
name is John." 

Mr. W. also had sittings with Mrs. Piper about this time, and in 
reply to his inquiries the information concerning the above incident 
gradually became more definite in successive sittings. Unfortunately 
no record was made of the actual changes, &c., but Mr. AY. is sure that 
he finally had the following statements to go wpon : — That a boy named 
Fred Guernsey, whose father kept a drug-store in Lake City, was 
drowned in Lake Pepin while skating in company with a girl, and that 
their bodies were found clasped together in the lake. He could not 
get the name of the State, and several States contain a Lake City, but 
the Lake Pepin pointed to the Lake City in Minnesota, and he ac- 
cordingly wrote to Mr. Guernsey to this address on May 20th, 1887 
and received the following letter in reply : — 

Drugs, Books, Stationery, Notions, 
Fancy Goods, Wall Paper. 

A. T. Guernsey. 

Lake City, Minn. 

Mail 2Uh, 1887. 

... In reply to your inquiries under date of the 20th, would say that 
I lost a son by drowning December 13th, 1878, while skating on Lake 
Pepin in company with Miss Florence E. WyckofF, daughter of Rev. Samll 
WyckofF, at that time jiastor of the Presbyterian Church of this place. Both 
were lost. His name was Porter Brewster Guernsey. 


On July 1st, 1887, Miss W. drew the attention of the "control" 
to the mistake in the name Mabel Fuller, acquainting hhii probably, as 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

she thinks, with tlie contents of the letter received from Mr. Guernsey. 
An exphmation of the mistake was offered to the effect tliat Mabel 
Fuller had lived in Lake City, was a friend of Miss Wyckoff, and was 
the daughter of a Baptist minister there, Miss Wyckoff being also the 
daughter of a minister. It was not ascertained at the time whether 
this explanation was founded on facts or not, and my own letters t<9 
Lake City received no reply. I have at last, however, received tlie 
following statement from one of our members, Mr. H. W. Smith : — 

St. Paul, Minn., Novcmlm- 30th, 1891. , 
You ask as to the identity of Miss Mabel Fuller, &c., all of 
which I will try to pince before you in the following. Your letter of March 
yth to A. T. G-uernsey is also before me — temporarily in my possession — and 
I also attempt to cover the questions therein contained. Before me also are 
t\YO letters, copies of which I enclose, wliich Mr. Guernsey states reached 
him from a party claiming to be W. H. W. The origmals are written in a 
beautiful cultivated hand, well punctuated ; otherwise my copies are accurate. 

Mr. A. T. Guernsey is a druggist doing business at the corner of Sel);y- 
avenue and Dale-street, in St. Paul, Minn., having removed with his family 
from Lake City, Minn., some three years ago. The following statement.s 
were made to me this evening l}y said Mr. Guernsey, while in his presence, by 
firal declaration. He is the fatlier of Porter Brewster Guernsey, who v.-as 
drowned in Lake Pepin in the vicinity of Lake City, Minn., in the evening 
(not the afternoon or day) oi December loth, 1878. He (young Guernsey) 
was skating in company with Fkirence E. Wyckoff at the time, and she was 
drowned with him. Miss Wyckoff's father was the Presbyterian minister at 
Lake City, Minn., having removed from Portage, Wisconsin. The former 
Baptist minister at Lake City was a Mr. Fuller, wlio removed to Litchfield, 
Minn., two or three years liefore Mr. Wyckoff or any of his (Wyckoff's) 
family arrived. Besides this strong indication that the Fullers and Wyckoffs 
were not acquainted, there is independent evidence which is nearly conclu- 
sive. There was no such person as Mabel Fuller residing in Lake City or 
anywhere around, or known thei'e, before, at tlie time, or subsequent to the 
above-mentioned drowning. Mr. Fuller had two daughters, neither of whom 
was drowned, neither knew the Wyckoffs, neither of them was named Mabel. 
Both, and all the family, moved away, as above stated, two or three years 
jjrior to Wyckoff"s arrival, and now reside at Litchfield, Minn. Porter 
Brewster Guernsey and Florence E. Wyckoff were drowned and died together 
on one and the same occasion. The evidence is that Guernsey was trying to 
assist Miss Wj^ckoff, v,dien both went down together, and the fact is that when 
found the bodies were attached ; that is to say, Mr. Guernsey had hold of 
Miss VVyckoff^s arm at death and the bodies had remained so. I have already 
given you the date of drowning. Young Guernsey's name is correctly given 
above, and Fred Guernsey (see Mr. W.'s letter) is not correct. No such per- 
son as Fred Guernsey was drowned. Mr. A. T. Guernsey never saw, nor coi- 
responded with, nor heard Rev.' Rol)ert West; never subscribed to the 
Advcoicc, and believes, therefore, his name never came to their notice. He 
had read the Admnce, and recollects Rev. West as a writer. 

Again, Miss W., at a sitting on March 31st, 1887, was informed 

Ohsenmtions of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


])y "Ml-. West" that he was very Vjusy just then with the care of a 
WiUiam N. (giving the name in full), who had passed out of the body 
" by his own act, from some Westei'n City." William N. wanted to 
send a message to his wife Lidu. Shortly after this, Miss W. ascer- 
tained that a bearer of the name given had been in . . . in 
* St. Paul, Minnesota, and had committed suicide. I learn (November 
29th, 1891) from Mr. H. W. Smith, who sent me the information 
concerning the Guernsey incident, that William R. N. committed 
suicide in 1883, and that his wife's name is Louise. My infoimant 
adds that " the remains were, or were to be, taken to Lake City, 
Minn., for interment." 

Now, taking the view which I do of Mrs. Piper's trance (and 
therefore rejecting the supposition which many of my readers will 
naturally make, that Mrs. Piper in her waking state had consciously 
" got up '" the information given), there are at least four hypotheses 
which might be suggested for the "Guernsey" and "W. N." incidents. 

1. The hypothesis of " spiiit-control." But in this case it se?ms 
difficult to account for the mistakes made in connection with the 
" Guernsey " incident. 

2. The hypothesis suggested by the " West-Savage " incident, that 
■ some other person to whom the facts were at least partially or 

"unconsciously" known had previously had a sitting with Mrs. Piper, 
and that Phinuit had obtained his information from this other sitter. 
It is curious that the statements in both cases concerned events in 
Minnesota. Possibly the sitter came from that State, or was specially 
interested in matters occurring there. 

3. The hypothesis that Miss W. or her father had casually seen 
a brief account of the circumstances in some newsjoajoer, ar^d either 
had forgotten them afteiwaids or perhaps in the first instance had 
never consciously noticed them (compare the experiences of Miss X., 
Vol. v., pp. 507-8), and that Phinuit had filched them telepathically 
from their subconsciousnesses. 

4. The hypothesis that Mrs. Piper herself had thus casually seen 
these items of news without noticing them, but that the " Phimiit 
personality " had noticed them and reproduced them afterwards as 
tests. This and the two previous hypotheses seem to fit most naturally 
with the scantiness and partial incorrectness of the statements made 
about the "Guernsey" incident. It is a common thing to find an 
item of nev\'s in a paper in the form of a despatch prefaced by the 
name of a city without the name of the State.' Thus a telegraphic 

' In making- inqiiiries about remarkable stories which Lave appeared in news- 
papers, I have several times been inconvenienced by this fact. There are numerous 
instances where towns, frequently important ones, of the same name are found in 
different States. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

despatch might appear somewhat in this way : — Lake City.^ — A boy 
named Guernsey, whose father keeps a drug-store in this city, was 
drowned to-day in Lake Pepin while skating in company Math a girl, — 
&c. We must note further that the Christian name of the boy was 
first given a§ John and afterwards as Fred, his first names being in 
reality Porter Brewster. These errors would be rather remarkable for 
either the boy himself or his girl-companion to make, and if we add to 
these the further facts that the name of the State was not obtainable, 
and that the name of the girl who was drowiied, from Avhom, 
apparently, the information purported to come, was given as Mabel 
Fuller instead of Florence E. Wyckoff, there remains practically no 
evidence whatever for the identity of the sujjposed " spirits " whose 
bodies were drowned. 

After writing the above I made further inquiries of Miss W., who 
says in reply : — 

"The acquaintance who introcluced me to Mrs. Piper in 1886 was a St. 
Paul business man. He liad tlien had several sittings with her, but has had 
few since that time. He could, if he would, tell you much of interest about 
her, hut he would not. . . . My St. Paul friend was the person 
tlirough whom I verified the account of William N.'s suicide. I think he 
knew him personally — certainly knew of hini." 

Miss W. also states that she remembers telling her St. Paul friend 
(now abroad) of the Guernsey incident, and " he had no recollection of 
having heard of the matter." 

This additional information certainly seems to make the second of 
the above hypotheses so much more proliable than the others that I 
allow the others to remain as suggestions only because of the next 
incident to which I turn, which is also an outcome of the W. sittings. 

In May, 1888, Mr. W. was told by his daughter "control" that she 
was intimate (in the " spirit-world ") with a little girl whose father's 
name was X. Miss W. received further details on May 24th, 
1888, purporting to come from Katy through "Mr. West." " Gracie 
X. here about four years. Her father is William X., who keeps a 
shop on Winter-street (Boston), sells furnishings, buttons, fancy goods, 
trimmings. Katy describes her dress, in open work stockings, high 
buttoned boots, white dress with two frills round the bottom and falling 
just below the knees, sash of blue ribbon tied a little at one side of the 
back, long, light flowing hair, crimped by being braided, smoothed 
back from her forehead and parted off from each side and tied here 
(the back of the top of the head indicated by a gesture) with a ribbon 
and falling down behind. She is not so old as Katy. She was ill with 
membranous diphtheria. She Avants you to tell her papa about this 
and see what he says. She was an only child." 

Mr. W. walked down Winter-street and found a shop there corre- 

Observations of Certain Plienomena of Trance. 41 

sponding with the name of X., but not William X., and he made no in- 
quiry at that time. Miss W. afterwards inquired for William X. at the 
shop and found that he was or had been a junior member of the firm, 
but was engaged in another business in Devonshire-street. She found 
him there, and was informed that the statements concerning his daughter 
w-ere correct. The description of his daughter's dress was accurate, but 
his daughter's grave was in Forest Hills Cemetery, and there was a 
statue of his daughter there dressed as described. His daughter, he 
said, was wont to wear blue. Miss W. cjuestioned Mrs. Piper concern- 
ing her knowledge of Forest Hills Cemetery, which is in one of the 
suburbs of Boston, and Mrs. Piper recalled that she had several years 
previously visited this cemetery on a drive, but she could not i-ecall 
anything about the statue. 

I questioned Mrs. Piper about her visit to the cemetery, and she 
stated that she accompanied a lady, Mrs. E., to the cemetery, that they 
went in a horse-car, and walked in the cemetery itself ; that some time 
after Miss W. told her about the statue she visited the cemetery again, 
on purpose to see the statue, that she could not recall having ever seen 
it before, and that Mrs. E.'s lot is in another part of the cemetery. 

Miss Edmunds has visited the cemetery and furnished me with a 
detailed description of the X. lot, from which I extract the following 
passages : — 

On the upright between the top and lower steps is engraved ' ' Wm. H. 
X." In the centre of the lot is a large grey granite monument 
forming a jjedestal for the statue of a woman in flowing draperies, full size, 
the whole bemg about twenty feet. ... In the front is engraved in 

large letters "X ." On the left hand side of the monument [and not 

seen when directly facing the monument from the front of the lot] . . . 
is "children of William H. and Emily D. C. X. Grace Sherwood, June 5th, 
1876 — November 11th, 1880." [Below this is a space as though for one or 
more otlier names.] ... To the left of the large monument is the 
statue of a beautiful child, about three feet high, in pure white marble, 
standing on a pedestal, only a few inclies from tlie ground, wliicli is decorated 
with leaves. . . . Her left hand is holding her sash, and in her right 
hand are a few flowers, held down in front. The sash is plain, in loose folds 
below the waist and tied at the back in a large bow ; and the dress, apparently 
of fine white mushn, beautifully and closely embroidered (not "open" work). 
The front and back down to the sash has a broad embroidered band, and the 
skirt below the sash is beautifully worked. The hair is tied with a ribbon, 
with large bow and ends falling back from the top of the head, straight 
fringe over forehead. The whole statue is enclosed in a glass case. 
(" Gracie " seems to be the only one as yet buried in the lot.) . . . 

I have also visited the lot myself, and add some further details 
which were brought out also in drawings made by Miss Edmunds of 
the statue, and which should be compared with the statements made to 
Miss W. at her sitting. The boots are " high-buttoned," and the dress 


j\fi: R. Hodgson. 

falls ''just below the knees,' out the sash is tied exactly in the middle 
of the back. There is no sion of any "openwork" about the stockings,, 
and there appear to be no frills round tlie bottoiB of the dress. There 
is no indication on the lot as to the cause of Gi-acie's death. She had 
been dead not " about four years," as stated in the communication, but 
between seven and eight years. The name Gracie appears in large 
letters on the pedestal of the statue. 

In reply to my further inf|uiries, INIiss W. writes on November 9th,. 

I liave no notes of niy conversation with Mr. X. My recollection is that 
lie said Gracie wa.s at her death the only child ; that another had been born 
since. He assented to tlie description as correct, at the same time saying 
that the statue on the grave probably gave Mrs. P. her information. 
Whether I rpioted to him the "open-worked .stockings" and "sash tied on 
one side," and he failed to notice the discrepancy, or whether I gave him only 
my recollection of the description, I do not remember. I should doubt, how- 
ever, that I omitted both items. Should you lind Mr. X., yovx may care to 
ask him about this " test " which I find in my notes for June 21st, 1888. It. 
seemed so intrinsically improbable that I never cared to inquire. "Gracie 
X. is glad you have been to see her pajja, and wants you to ask him if he 
remembers a little light blue silk dress witli white lace that her mamma made 
her. She knows about her little sister, but she does not know her name 
[apparently in reply to my inquiry]. She will go to the house, a little way 
out from this city, with trees all round it, and find out." 

It has not yet been ascertained v/hether these further statements 
are true or not, and, even if true, it is, of course, possible that they may 
have been obtained from some other sitter, a relative or friend of the 
X. family. 

Pteverting to our four hypotheses (p. 39), it is clear that not only 
(2), but (3) or (4) might be the actual exjilanation of the Gracie X.. 
incident ; even if we suppose that neither Mrs. Piper, nor Miss W,, 
nor Mr. W. had ever seen the grave in Forest Hills Cemetery. 
It is not improbable, e.r/., that some account of the statue appeared in 
a newspaper, together with some statement about Mr. X. and tlie 
manner of his daughter's death. This account may have been read, 
and afterwards completely fox-gotten, by Mrs. Piper or the sitters, but 
lingering still in the " subconscious " n.iind, it may have formed the 
source of the information given out by the trance joersonality. It 
certainly seems I'emarkable that the dress of Gracie should be described 
with such minute particularity, unless the statue in some way formed 
the starting point of the communication. On the other hand, however, 
an advocate of the "spirit" hypothesis may urge that the very 
circumstances in connection with the dress that led Mr. X. to place the 
statue on his child's grave may be held in very definite remembrance by 
Gracie hei-self. But, on this hypothesis, how did the mistake of four 
years instead of eight years as the interval since her death originate? 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 43 

Taken together, I think it nuist be conceded that these cases which 
Miss W. has given me, in addition to her general report, do not in 
themselves furnish any proof of the "spirit" hypothesis. Miss W.'s 
opinion as to the personality of her friend T. I regard as valuable, but 
it should be noticed that her mother, at the single sitting which she 
had with Mrs. Piper, was not equally impressed with the T. control. 
" It did not really seem like T." The incident of this remark, made tO' 
Mr. W. by Mrs. W. on their piazza, was mentioned at her next sitting, 
to Miss W., who was ignorant of the circumstances. This apparently 
goes beyond thought-transference from the sitter. So also does the 
more striking instance of Mr. W.'s receipt of a letter from B., of which 
Miss W. was informed at her sitting on December 16th, 1886, with a 
correct reference to its contents. These cases are, of course, explicable 
on the hypothesis of telepathy from the mind of a distant living persijii 
(Mr. W.) ; and the of the " silver cups " and the "card-plate" 
perhaps strengthen this explanation, as tlie details comnuuiicated to 
Miss W., though unknovv-n to her, were, presumably, known to her 
mother and sister respectively, and did not include the information of 
w hich they were — consciously — ignorant, and which Miss W. specially 
sought, viz., the actual whereabouts of the missing objects. Omitting 
for the present the prophecies mentioned in Miss W.'s report, it would 
seem that the T. "control " presented marked characteristics of the fries id 
it purported to be ; showed specific knowledge of private matters known 
only to that friend and the sitter ; showed a knowledge of facts of which 
he was reminded by the sitter, and in turn reminded the sitter of facts 
temporarily forgotten by her ; made some mistakes in matters once 
known to the friend, and remembered well by the sitter, and told the 
sitter of facts not known to her and afterwards verified. Is it probable 
that Miss W.'s friend was in some sense actually communicating with 
her, or was the T. personality fictitiously represented by Phinuit 1 Or, 
shall we put it rather, does Mrs. Piper's secondary personality 
fictitiously represent itself as (or believe itself to be) Phinuit, T., ai:d 
various other " controls " ? 

I have myself witnessed five " controls " besides Phinuit. At one 
of my earliest sittings, I believe the third, Mrs. Piper became entranced,, 
and yet, as I thought, nf) one spoke for some minutes. Finally my 
attention was drawn to a xevj low whispering sound which I was con- 
scious had been continuing for some time, and on bending my head I 
caught the repetition of my Christian name, with the statement that 
the- speaker, who purported to be "Q." (see p. 9), was too weak to talk 
any more. Shortly afterwards Phiiuiit came to the front in the usual 
way. About a year later, Phinuit, in connection with an inquiry that I 
was making, had asserted (wrongly, as afterwards appeared) that :i 
l^articular j^erson was in Denv er, Colorado. I wished to know whether 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Phinuit could not visit Denver then and there and become quite sure 
of his statements. He said he could, it would take him about five 
minutes, and in the meantime the medium was to " leave the room and 
have a change of surroundings and be freshened up." Mrs. Piper came 
out of trance. I told her of the circumstances. She left the room and 
returned in a few minutes, and immediately became again entranced. 
To my surprise the first words were, " I'm Commodore Vanderbilt," 
and then followed some general statements about Vanderbilt's life 
which I cannot recall. I inquired how it was that he canie when I 
expected Dr. Phinuit. " Dr. Phinuit said he had to go off in a luirry 
and didn't know whether he could be back in time. If he didn't get 
back he said I was to come and talk to you till he came." The style 
Avas curiously different from that of Phinuit, and after a short talk, 
suggesting the fragmentary conversation which one might hold with a 
stranger while waiting for dinner, the alleged " Commodore " said, 
" Here's Dr. Phinuit, I'm going, good-bye." After a pause came the 
characteristic Phinuit, and I inquired how it was that he could take 
the place of Commodore Vanderbilt so easily. 

"Oh! I said, ' Commodore Vanderbilt, I want to speak to you.' He 
came out and I popped in." " What sort of a fellow is he ? " " Oh ! he's a 
good sort of fellow; but I don't care about him very much." "Why?" 
" Oh ! he swears." 

Vanderbilt is mentioned both by Mrs. Piper (p. 46) and Phinuit 
(e.g., in sitting on June 9th, 1888) as among the early " controls." 

I have also had several experiences with the " E. control." (See 
Proceedings, Vol VI., pp. 493, 516-7, 524, 552-3, and 656.) This 
began by alleged messages from " E." through Phinuit at a sitting on 
March 15th, 1889, with Professor and Mrs. James. On March 22nd, 
1889, the mother of Mrs. James received through Phinuit a message 
from "E." for Professor James. A few days later "E." purported to 
control directly at a sitting where a friend of mine, Mrs. Y. (unknown 
to "E."), was present, giving name, (fee, and saying that he had heard 
my name and found that the " conditions " of Mrs. Y. were specially 
favourable for his "controlling." With Mrs. Y., Professor James and 
myself both witnessed this supposed "control " afterwards. The language 
was not at all like that used by the living " E.," who was well known to 
Professor James and myself, though there were occasionally reminders, 
as [it were, not in words, but in ideas, of his manner and thought. 
Thus he earnestly desired that tests should be provided by another 
friend who had known him most intimately ; but, on the other liand, 
when the test questions were obtained and presented the answers were 
either not forthcoming or were wrong. The whole thing rather 
suggested a simulation by Phinuit, though a specific question of my 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


own was correctly answered, and other matters were alluded to which 
showed knowledge of some events j^ersonal to "E." and myself. 
Further, the full name and occupation, when living, of another jierson, 
" Z.," were mentioned by the "E." control, as well as the fact that 
" Z." had died before " E." The name of " Z." was first mentioned 
incidentally. "E." said that he himself was very much confused, but 
that he had met " Z." and found "Z." in a still more confused state, 
although "Z." had been longer in the " other world." The rest of the 
information was given in reply to our inquiries. The statements made 
were afterwards verified, and neither Mrs. Y., nor Professor James, nor 
myself knew (consciously) anything about such a person. I was the only 
one who was likely to have known anything about him, and it is almost, 
certain that, years previously, I had heard of his name and position ; 
but it was improbable, though quite possible, that I had heard of his 
death. It was probable also that " E." had known him personally. 
This incident was the only case where any knowledge was at that time 
shown concerning matters which the sitters were unable to recall, 
and it may have been drawn from my subconsciousness or fi'om the 
mind of some other living person. If we assume that this conti'ol 
was the "make-up" of Mrs. Piper's secondary personality, it apparently 
involved some very subtle use of information drawn telepathically from 
at least the minds of the sitters, and at the same time the most extra- 
vagant ignorance and confusion concerning other facts, some of which 
were known to the sitters, and which we should expect to be vivid in 
the remembrance of " E." 

Several times in reply to my request Phinuit had promised to bring 
several other persons to "control" in succession, and on November 7th, 
1889, after Phinuit's voice had died away, another "control" started,, 
purporting to be a friend of " E." and to be a German. Beyond this 
the words uttered, including the name, wei-e almost entirely unintel- 
ligible. This " manifestation," which lasted a very short time, and was 
not at all like Phinuit, was followed by the " Mrs. Walsh " control, 
which I have described in Report 16. This was decidedly sui generis^ 
and strongly suggestive of Mrs. Walsh (the aunt of Professor James. 
See Proceedings, Yol. YL, p. 656). I have heard of several other 
" controls," purporting to l)e relatives of sitters who regard their 
experiences as too private for publication, and I think it probal)le that 
some of these may now be, whatever they were in their incipieiit 
stages, fairly good personations. On any hypothesis, perhaps, we should 
expect such personations to improve. Phinuit himself is much superior 
to what he was four and a-half years ago, though he has remained 
throughout the same characteristic personality, and his origin, I venture 
to think, is still open to doubt. 


E. Hodgson. 

§ 7. Mrs. Piper's Early Trances. 

Much light might be thrown on this problem of Phinuit's origin, 
and thus also on that of the other '• controls," did we j^ossess a 
stenographic report of what ensued on Phinuit's first appearance as 
Mrs. Piper's trance personality, but I have been finable to obtain 
any satisfactory accounts of Mrs. Pijjer's early finances. Mrs. Piper 
herself has given me what information she could. In rejsly to inquiries 
in January, 1888, she informed me that her husband's father and 
mother had been impressed by a sitting which they had with a 
medium in 1884, and persuaded her to try consultation with a medium 
who gave medical advice. She was at that time suffering from a 
tumour. Slie visited Mr. J. R. Cocke, a blind medium, also a 
" developer " of mediums. He professed to be controlled by a French 
pliysician whose name was pronounced Finny. While there, she felt 
curious twitchings, and thought she might become completely imcon- 
scious. On a second visit to Mi'. Cocke he placed his hands on her 
head, and shortly after she became unconscious. As she was losing 
c:)nsciousness she was awai'e of a flood of light and saw strange faces, 
and a hand moving before her. The "flood of light" she had ex- 
parienced once before, a few months previously ; it immediately pre- 
ceded a swoon, caused by a sudden l^low on the side of the head. 
When she lost consciousness on the occasi(jn of her second visit to Mr. 
Cjcke, she was said to have been controlled l)y an Indian girl who 
gave the name " Chlorine," and to have given a i-emarkable test to a 
sl^ranger who was present. She had several more sittings with Mr. 
Cocke, and was again controlled, apparently on each occasion by 
"Chlorine." On her second visit to Mr. Cocke he professed to be 
controlled by John Sebastian Bach. Aftei' this she tried sitting at 
home with her relatives and friends. Fliinmiit. {sic) "controlled" iirst, 
and since then regularly, but she was alsu controlled at occasional 
times by Mrs. Siddons, Bach, Longfellow, Commodore Vanderbilt, and 
Loretta P(jnchini. It was said that " Mi s. Siddons " I'ecited a scene 
from Macbeth, Longfellow was said to have wiitten some verses, and 
Loretta Poiichini (who purported to be an Italian girl) to have made 
some drawings. These verses and drawings have not Ijeen preserved. 

I requested a lady memljer of our Society, who is a shorthand 
reporter, and personally acquainted with Mrs. Piper and her family, to 
make some inquiries of Mr. James M. Piper (Mrs. Piper's father-in-law) 
concerning the earlier " trances." The following is her account of Mr. 
Piper's statements : — 

Mr. Piper said that the first time Mrs. Pijjer went to Dr. Cocke's she 
went for medical advice, and was told she would make a remarkable meduim 
(siie went to see if she had cancer). 

Tlie second time slie visited Dr. Cocke she v/ent uud«r control and wrote 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 47 

a message. Mr. Piper only accompanied her on those two occasions. INIrs. 
Piper herself only went a few times. She was first controlled by Chlorine, 
:;ind I asked Mr. Piper distinctly if the names of any of her controls were 
anentioned in her presence at the seances before she professed to be con- 
trolled by them, and he said, positively, Nv} 

Sebastian Bach said he was the one to "form her band," and Chlorine 
was the principal control for a long time iov ontaide sitters, and Loretta 
Ponchini and Mrs. Siddons, and one or two others, used to come at first for 
familij sittings only and not for outsiders. 

Dr. Phinuit only came at first to give medical advice. He " didn't care 
to come for other matters," as he thought them "too trivial." 

Finally Sebastian Bach said they were going to concentrate all their powers 
on Phinuit, and lie became ultimately the chief control. 

Mr. Piper says that there is no question but that it is the same Phinuit 
or personality who controls Dr. Cocke, no matter how their names are spelt. 

Phinuit said at first that he was pevmitted to come through Mrs. Piper, 
;ind for quite a while he used to speak of a " blind medium " and of things 
that had happened at the blind medium's, and would speak of certain persoiis 
who had been at the Ijlind medium's and would descrilje them. And Mr. 
Piper had asked Dr. Cocke if such persons were with him at such a time 
Jinswering to Phinuit's description, and he said Yes. 

Mr. Cocke is a professional medium. I visited him myself, accom- 
panied by a friend — not giving any names. He purported to go into 
ti'ance and give medical diagnoses. His diagnoses of my friend and 
myself were completely wrong, and there was nothing of any sort, in 
voice, words, gestures, etc., alx)ut this suj^posed "trance personality" 
which in the least degree ieseml)led Mrs. Piper's Phinuit. I was 
informed, in reply to my inquiry, that the conti'ol was a " Dr. Finny " 
{so pronounced), but I forbore to press further questions, as my inquiry 
<ippeared to me to be received with a certain amount of resentment. 
But I may have misjudged Mr. Cocke in this, since at a later period he 
•gave some information to my assistant Miss Edmunds, when he found 
that she had called in the interests of the S.P.R. He stated that he 
liad a full history of his " control " written out which he did not mean 
to divulge until he published it himself. But he was willing to state 
that his control was Albert G. Finnett (pronounced Fin'-ne), a French- 
man, who had studied medicine a little as a " Ijarber's surgeon." He 
claims to be " no one in particular." When " controlling " Mr. Cocke 
lie gives medical diagnoses and prescribes medicines. Mr. Cocke stated 
further that Albert G. Finnett also speaks French fluently, but he 
explained that he had studied French thoroughly himself when at 
■school, and that, though not by any means a Fiench scholar now, he 
understands it fairly well. 

^ A lady who had been at Mr. Cocke's " circle " at the same time as Mrs. Piper 
-stated, in reply to my inquiry, that all the early "controls " of Mrs. Piper had been 
previously mentioned in Mrs. Piper's presence. This lady, however, declined later 
to give me any -wi-itten statement cm the subject. — R. H. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

I have ascertained from several persons who attended some of Mrs. 
Piper's early sittings that Phinuit's name was originally pronounced 
Finny or Fin'-ne (see Report, No. 39) ; but I do not know of any 
" authentic " spelling of his name before the incident referred to at the 
close of the following account received by me fi-om Mrs. Piper on 
September 23rd, 1890. Mrs. Piper had given me an oral account of 
this incident a long time previously, hnt I was unable to find any 
record of it among my notes. 

In reply to your several letters of recent date, asking for information in 
regard to my family history and other matters, I will say that I have taken 
special pains to get the information you desire, and the facts about my family 
I feel certain are absolutely correct. 

1st. Whether there has been in my family any jjhenomena similar to my 
trance ? 

I know of nothing of the kind, except in the case of a younger brother 
who has been all his life somewhat of an invalid. He lias a nervous 
temperament, although the physicians say he has no regular nervous disease. 
He has several times been entranced, but the fact is known to no one outside 
of his immediate family, and he would positively refuse to submit to any 
investigation by strangers. 

2nd. Whether there has been any nervous disease of any kind, any 
insanity or crankiness of any sort, on either my mother's or father's side ? 

None at all. My grandfather, on my father's side, died of old age, at the 
age of ninety. My grandmother is now living. They had twelve children, 
eight of whom are living, and the rest died in infancy. My grandfather on 
my mother's side died of heart disease at about eighty years of age. My 
grandmotlier died suddenly in bed at an advanced age, over eighty, being in 
full possession of all her faculties uj^ to the time of her deatli. They also 
had twelve children, six boys and six girls. Of these, one uncle died in 
infancy, two uncles are now living, and the remaining three died of heart 
disease at a mature age. Of my aunts, one died in childhood of hemorrhage, 
one of cancer, and one of diabetes in middle age ; my mother and two aunts, 
are now living. 

3rd. Did Phinuit ever give the last name, Scliville, to any person before 
the sitting which you and Miss R. had together 1 

Yes, he had several times given the name to Mr. Piper. 

4th. Can I give you the date of my marriage, and the date of my eldest 
child's birth, and the date of my first experiences in trance ? 

I was married October 6th, 1881. My first child was born May 16th, 
1884. My second child was born October 7th, 1885. My first experience of 
being in trance was on the 29th of June, 1884. I remember this date 
distinctly, from its being two days after my first birthday following the birth 
of my first child. I consulted a certain medium for medical advice on a 
Saturday, and during the interview was partially unconscious for a few 
moments. The next day, Sunday, I attended a circle at the house of this, 
same medium, being urged to do so by friends who were curious to see if 
anything further would develop, and went into a trance. What took place at 
that time I have previously explained to you. 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


5th. Can I describe the circumstances of my seeing the name Phiniiit 
written out for the first time, giving tlie date as nearly as possible, and, of 
course, telling exactly what I saw written ? 

As near as I can recollect, it was several months after the birth of my 
second child, which was in October, 1885. I had not, of course, been giving ^ 
sittings for a considerable length of time. It was in the evening, soon after 
I had retired, and before I had fallen asleep at all. The room was quite 
dark. Then I suddenly saw light. I said to Mr. Piper, "Do you see a 
light ?" He said, "Why, no, what is the matter? Are you going into a 
trance?" I replied no, that I was my natural self, but that the room was full 
i)f light. He said that he saw nothing. I said, " Wait a minute ; I see 
something " ; and just then I saw on the wall beside my bed the letters 
"Dr.," a capital D and small r and a period, just as the abbreviation is 
ordinarily written. Then I saw the letters " P-li-i-n," but could see nothing 
more. I arose, got a light, and placed it so that it would shine on the same 
spot on the wall to see what effect it would produce, but there was nothing 
like what I had just seen. 

Whether the letters P-h-i-n were given to or suggested by any 
sitter prior to this " hallucination " of Mrs. Pii^er, I do not know. 
The spelling given to me both l^y Mrs. Piper and Phinuit in 1887 was 
Phinnuit, and I incline to think that the present spelling Phinuit is 
due indirectly to an error of niy own. Forgetting the spelling as 
originally given to me, and being frequently asked by persons who 
were interested in Mrs. Piper's sittings how Phinuit was spelt, I not 
only got into the habit of spelling it with a single n myself, but, as I 
believe, caused many sitters and other persons to spell it with a single 
n. I was never confident of this spelling, but did not for a long time 
refer to my original notes. The waking Mrs. Piper herself in this 
way became familiarised with the spelling Phinuit. The result, 
apparently, of all this was that Phinuit himself began in the first half 
of 1 888 to spell his name with a single n. He spelt it thus on 
June 5th, 1891, and when I then charged him with having dropped an 
71 owing to a mistake on my part, and pointed out that he had changed 
his name unwittingly, he denied it, saying that there were two 7ts, and 
affirming that probably he jumbled the two ?i's together quickly so 
that it sounded like a single n. But there was no tone of confidence 
in the denial, and Phinuit's ivritten signature, given on June 30th^ 
1888, contains only one n. 

Returning to the statements made by Mr. J. M. Piper, it is curious' 
that Phinuit himself, in a sitting of May 26th, 1888, should have 
stated specifically that he had never controlled any other medium hwt 
Mrs. Piper. 

Q. : " Did you ever control any other medium?" A. : " No." Q. : 
" Who is this Dr. Phinuit that controls the organism of Dr. J. Cocke?" 
A. : "Is that the same Dr. Phinuit that controls Dr. — what is that 
doctor's name in your country ? I do not know those fellows at all. Another- 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

gentleman tells nie that ho went to two mediums, and they both got a Dr. 
Phiniiit ; one is Phinuit and the other is Phinnie." (This name may not be 
spelled correctly, but it ends with an c in distinction from the other. — Sten.) 

§ 8. Phixuit's Account of Himself. 
In reply to my inquiries on different occasions, Phinuit stated that 
his full name was Jean Phinuit Scliville. " Phinuit is one of my names ; 
Scliville is my other name ■; Dr. Jean Phinuit Scliville ; they always 
called me Dr. Phinuit." He was unable to tell the year of his birth 
or the year of his death, but by putting together several of his state- 
ments, it would appear that he was born about 1790 and died about 
1860. He was born in Marseilles, went to school and studied medicine 
at a college in Paris called " Merciana " (?) College, where lie took his 
degree when he was between twenty-five and twenty-eight years old 
" Merciana. You know the name ' Meeishaum ' ? That is the same 
name; I cannot spell it; sounds something like that." He also 
studied medicine at " Metz, in Germany." At the age of thirty-five 
he married Marie Latimer, who had a sister named Josephine. 
" Josephine was a sweetheart of mine first, but I went back on her and 
married Marie after all." Marie was thirty years of age when he 
married her, and died when she was about fifty. He had no children. 
P. : " Do you know where the Hospital of God is. Hospital de Dieu 
(Hotel Dieu) ?" Sitter : " It is in Paris." P. : " Do you remember old 
Dyruijutia ? Dyruputia [Dupuytren ?] was the head of the hospital, 
and there is a street named for him." He went to London and from 
London to Belgium. " I went to very different places after my health 
broke down." 

Some discrepancies will be noticed between these statements 
and those given in Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 520, and I understand 
that no trace of " Jean Phinuit Scliville " has been discovered at the 
medical schools where Phinuit claims to have studied and practised, or 
along other lines of inquiry suggested by the few fragments which he 
offers of his life history. Definite evidence establishing the existence 
of a Jean Phinuit Scliville under the circumstances described by 
Phinuit would not, of course, establish the identity of such once living 
person with Mrs. Piper's Phinuit, but the complete lack of any such 
■evidence appears to me to tell forcibly against the su2:>position that 
Mrs. Piper-'s Phinuit is what for several years he has been asserting 
himself to be. 

Concerning his inability to speak French, Phinuit's original explana- 
tion to me was that he had lived in Metz the latter part of his life, 
and there wei'e many English there, so that he was compelled to speak 
English and had forgotten his French. I replied that this exi^lanatioii 
was very surprising, and that a much more plausible one would be that 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 51 

lie was obliged to use the brain of the medium, and would therefore 
manifest no more familiarity with French than she possessed. This — 
trite enough — suggestion appeared to Phinuit also more plausible, since 
a few days later he offered it himself to another sitter as an explana- 
tion of his inability to sustain a conversation in French ! 

Dr. C. W. F. (see Report, No. 23) questioned Phinuit about the 
prominent medical men in Paris in Phinuit's time. The names of 
Bourier and Dupuy tren were given. Dr. F. tells me that he (Dr. C. W. F. ) 
knew nothing about Bouvier previously, hut knew well about Dupuytren. 
The doctors he had in mind at the time of his question "were Velpeau, 
Bouillaud, Nelaton, Andral, and many others, all prominent forty or 
fifty years ago with extended reputations." 

Taking the foregoing considerations together, it appears to me that 
there is good reason for concluding that Phinuit is not a French doctor. 

How far in the next place can Phinuit substantiate his claim to be 
Ji doctor at all ? Where the sitter was aware of the nature of the 
ailments described, we can suppose that Phinuit's communication may 
be accounted for by telepathy. Mr. Piper informed me that Phinuit 
had been frequently tested with herbs and had never made a mistake. 
I obtained three specimens of herbs from a friend of mine, a druggist, 
taking care that their names and uses should be entirely unknown to 
me. Phinuit spent considerable time over these, but was absolutely 
wrong in everything that he said about them. Dr. F., who had three 
sittings with Mrs. Piper, and who has given me information concerning 
them additional to that contained in his letter on p. 4, questions whether 
Phinuit's medical knowledge extends " beyond what Mrs. Piper has 
read in 'Domestic medicine.' He gives always the common or vulgar 
names of the medicines he describes, and never their botanical ones." 
Dr. F. tells me that at his first sitting Phinuit 

" dictated a prescription of plants to be steeped. They are in common use, 
save one, for bladder affections, and Sir Henry Thompson, in his special 
work, refers to this rather exceptional one as having done good service in 
some bladder cases. I told Phinuit these might sootlie tlie l)ladder some, 
but could effect nothing for me. ' Have you ever prescribed triticum repens ? ' 
I asked. I gave the French for it (chiendent). Now this is used every day 
in the week in the Paris hospitals as a diet drink, and when Pliinviit said, 
' What is the English of that 1 ' I was astonished. He neither knew tlio 
botanical nor tlie Frencli name of this common dog-grass." 

The chances for diagnosis of myself 23ersonally have been few. At 
one of my earliest sittings Phinuit pronounced me to be perfectly 
sound, " an old bach [bachelor], live to be a hundred " (not, of course, 
meant as a literal prophecy) ; then added that there was a slight in- 
flammation of the nasal membranes, which was correct, though I know 
of no external sign that could have guided him to this. He recom- 
mended a preparation of hamamelis. At another sitting I inquired 

E 2 


3Ir. R. Hodgson. 

concerning a slight pain which I no longer had, but had recently 
suffered from, and Phinuit, after first objecting that he had told me 
before that I was " all right," passed his hand over my left shoulder, 
and put a finger on the exact point under my left scapula where the 
pain had l^een, saying that it Avas due to a cold draught from an open 
window, as might have been the case. At another time I inquired 
concerning a pain which I h;id, and Phinuit almost instantaneously 
located it correctly, somewhat below the chest, pressing on the precise 
place with his finger, and began to say that it was indigestion, but 
corrected himself and explained that it was a strained muscle, due to 
sudden exercise. I had not consciously thought of this as the explana- 
tion, which was probalily correct, as on the second night previously, 
just before i-etiring, I had, for the first time for many weeks, gone 
through a series ■ of exercises, bending forwards and backwards, (tc„j 
and I first experienced the pain on the day following. Phinuit's pre- 
scription was to rul) the part affected with cold water, applied by the 

I have been informed privately of other diagnoses in addition to those 
mentioned in the reports, and agi-ee with Professor Lodge (^Proceedings, 
Vol. VI., p. 449) that the "medical statements" form j)art of the evidence 
in favour of " the existence of some abnormal means of acquiring infor- 
mation " ; l^ut if we allow for telepathy, and admit that Phinuit may 
acquire supernoi'mal perceptions of the various parts of the body, in- 
cluding the internal organs, I see no reason to sujspose that he possesses 
any technical medical knowledge — in other words, any more knowledge 
than might be possessed by a secondary pei-sonality of Mrs. Piper. Nor 
do I know of any statements made by Phinuit which, from the linguistic, 
or scientific, or j^hilosophic point of view, can be regarded as beyond 
the capacity of such a secondary personality. Incidents like that 
related by Mr. Rich (Report, No. 40) — c'est une alliance — even were 
there many of them, as there are not, might be explained by the 
.supposition that Phinuit obtained these expressions from ^"'revious 
sittei'S, or by the fact that for several years Mrs. Piper's children had 
a quasi-governess who lived in the house, and who could speak French 
fluently. We ai'e then, I think, forced to the conclusion that there is 
far from sufficient evidence to prove that Phinuit is either a Frenchman 
or a. physician. 

Further, he now believes — or confesses — that his name is not 
Phinuit at all. I have referred above to the changes — appai'ently botli 
of pronunciation and of spelling — through which this name has passed, 
and have spoken of the matter on more than one occasion to Phinuit 
himself, to whom I have frequently pointed out some of the difficulties 
in the way of supposing that he is what he purports to be, a " spirit 
Jrom the other world." I have also spoken of the matter to Mrs. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


Piper on several occasions, and in the last convei*sation with her prior 
to November 13th, 1891, I pointed out to her how strong the presump- 
tion was that Phinuit was an instance of auto-hypnotic suggestion, 
•especially since he first called himself Dr. Finney, a French physician, 
and she had previously witnessed Mr. Cocke's alleged " control " of the 
-same name (so pronounced). On November 13th, 1891, Phinuit asked 
me to state candidly what I really thought al^out him, and the result 
was a very plain conversation, in the course of which I described the 
view that he was the secondary personality of Mrs. Piper and that his 
name was suggested by that of the alleged " control " of Mr. Cocke ; 
and I mentioned the changes in the pi'onunciation and spelling of his 
name, and quoted the statements of Mr. J. M. Piper, that Phinuit was 
unquestionably the same person who had controlled Mr. Cocke, that 
Phinuit had described Mr. Cocke's sitters, itc. (p. 47). Phinuit then 
said that the frequent mention of Mr. Cocke's name had brought back 
to him circumstances which he had forgotten. He said that he recalled 
that on the first occasion of liis " controlling " Mrs. Piper, this Mr. 
Cocke was present, that he (Phinuit) had made some diagnosis, and on 
Ijeing questioned "Who are you?" had replied that his name was 
Scliville, but that Mi". Cocke had said, " No ; you're Dr. Finny." 
"My name's Scliville." " No ; you're Dr. Phinuit." "All right ; call 
me Phinuit if you like." "And I tell you, Hodgson, I i-eally don't 
know Avhether I'm Phinuit or not, but I think that's the way it came in. 
My name is Jean, and Scliville, or something like that." Phinuit 
explained further that he did describe sitters with Mr. Cocke, but 
only in the same way that he described what, e.g., Mrs. Holmes (Reports, 
Nos. 45-49) was doing at a certain time. They sent him, he said, to 
find out what Cocke was doing, but he never professed to " control 
Cocke's organism." He still insisted that his name was really Scliville, 
that he was connected with Dupuyti'en and Latimer, and that some 
triice of him should be discovered. 

In reply to my inquiries, Mr. Wm. Piper states that "fi-om the 
commencement and through the whole period of her [Mrs. Piper's] 
trances, the control has given his name as Schliville, coupling it with 
Jean and Phinuit. Phinuit lieing the easier for me to say, I have 
always spoken to and of him as Phinuit. ' In conversation, Mr. Piper 
has further informed me that he has no recollection of any such 
circumstances as those described hy Phinuit, and he l^elieves that Mr. 
Cocke was not jaresent at all when Phinuit made his fii-st appearance. 
I have also made inquiiy of Mr. Cocke as to what ha^Dpened when he 
witnessed Mrs. Piper's Phinuit control, and he assured me that he had 
Jiever seen the Phinuit conti'ol at all, that he had witnessed " Chlorine " 
only. To say the least, therefore, there is no evidence to cori'oborate 
Phinuit's statenient alwut the origin of the name Phinuit. 


Ml'. R. Hodgson. 

On jSTovember 17th I questioned Pliinuit still further, pressing him 
with the apparent inconsistencies between statements of his, and the 
difficulty of maintaining that he was Scliville when such name could 
not be found in the hospitals where he said he had been. I asked 
him if Mr. Cocke htul not also suggested to hun those details about 
his life which he has frequently given, but he maintained resolutely 
that this was not the case, that he was Scliville, that he was born in 
Metz, afterwards went to Marseilles, and studied under Dupuytren in 
Paris, and that Iris name ought to appear in the register of physicians 
in Metz. On my reminding liim that he had formerly said that he 
was born at Marseilles, he queried whether he had 2iot told me that it 
was either Marseilles or Metz, and he added that he was sure 
now that it was Metz. I tind on examining my notes that 
Phinuit stated at my early sittings that he was born at Marseilles, but 
on June 5th, 1891, that he was born either at Metz or Marseilles. 

At the close of a sitting on November 20th, 1891, after Phinuit 
had said " Au revoir," and was in the act of "departing," he murmured, 
"Jean Phinuit — no, not Phinuit — Scliville." This was repeated, and then 
a third time he began, " Jean [hei'e came a word which I could not 
hear distinctly, but it was not "Phinuit"] Scliville. Ha! ha! I've 
got my name at last." I refei'red to this incident at my next sitting, 
November 21st, and Phinuit said that he had recollected his middle 
name, which was Alaen. He reitei'atecl that he was born in Metz, but 
thinks that he left Metz when he was very young. His full name was 
Dr. Jean Alaen Scliville. At more than one later sitting I have tried 
to shake Phiimit's belief or statement that he is "Dr. Scliville" the 
" spirit " of a once living human being, but without success. 

These recent incidents, taking into account the statements of Mr. 
J. M. Piper (p. 47) and Phinuit's distinct prevarication concerning 
the spellmg of his name (p. 49), strongly suggest that Phinuit found 
himself al)Solutely "cornered " at last on the wAmQ Fhiiiint, and so sur- 
rendered it with an ingenious exj)lanation of its origin which he had 
Avorked up on the very basis of my olijections. This hypothesis is 
strengthened hy the fact, as I think, that Phinuit's memory is marvel- 
lously good, so good that it is scarcely crediljle that he could have 
forgotten the circumstances which he now alleges occurred on his first 

§ 9. Relation of Phinuit to Mrs. Piper. 

I have not been able to trace aiiy continuity of memory between 
Phinuit and Mrs. Piper. I have already stated my belief that Mrs. 
Piper is entirely ignorant of what occurs during the trance, and Phinuit 
is, or pretends to be, equally unaware of the knowledge jjossessed by Mrs. 
Piper, and of the incidents which happen to her in her ordinary life. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


On one occasion, not long before a sitting (June 30th, 1888), Mrs. 
Piper was startled by a very near sudden clap of thunder, and Phinuit, 
on being afterwards questioned, appeared to have no knowledge of the 
circumstance, and apparently tiied to guess at what had occurred. 
Similai-ly on questioning Phinuit at one of niy early sittings concerning 
the life of Mi-s. Piper, he professed ignorance on the subject, but said 
that he would " find out things " about her. At anothei' sitting he 
said that he had been enjoined by Mi's. Piper's relatives not to talk 
about her and her family (membei's of which at that time, occasionally 
resorted to Phinuit for information and advice). Soon afterwards, 
however, Phinuit told me of incidents in connection with Mrs. Pipei' 
which I think that Mrs. Piper herself would never have mentioned tO' 
me, but it is uncertain whether he possessed this knowledge by virtue 
of Mrs. Piper's possessing it, or whether he acquired it by whatevei' 
supernormal means he uses with ordinary sitters, or simply by conversa- 
tion with ]\[i's. Piper's relatives. I have also met with several cases 
where Mi's. Piper knew ]iot a little of the sitter's ordinaiy enviromnent,. 
names of friends, &c., and yet this information Avas not given by 
Phinuit. Further, indeed, I have known Phinuit under such circum- 
stances to be confused and to make mistakes upon points well known to 
Mrs. Piper. Still, all this "ignorance" may be "the perfection of 
actmg " on the part of Phinuit, and j^ossibly many of the details given 
by Phinuit in his attempts to describe my distant doings were specula- 
tions resting upon Mrs. Piper's knowledge. (See Nos. 50 and 51.) 
Recently, in giving a diagnosis, he spoke of "bronical," but 
immediately corrected it to "bronchial," and a day or two later 
Mrs. Pipei', in her normal waking state, pronounced the word "bronical," 
without correcting it.^ But an incident of this kind hardly proves 
anything, since it might be alleged that Phinuit's mistake was literally 
a lapsus linguce of Mrs. Piper's organism, and therefore explicable on 
either hypothesis — of secondary personality, or of extraneous intel- 

It seems hard to prove that Phinuit possesses all the kno^v- 
ledge of Mrs. Pipei', and still harder to prove that he possesses none 
of it, but I incline myself to think that if Phinuit is the secondary 
personality of Mrs. Piper, the case does not belong to the class referred 
to by Mr. Leaf {Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 560), where " the abnormal 
state is conscious of what goes on in the normal," but rather to a type 
where the change to the trance personality involves a partial oblitera- 

1 Since the above was written I mentioned the circumstances to Mrs. Piper and 
explained the word, and she was apparently unaware that it should be pronounced 
bronchial. Later still, after I had been sent out of the room by Phinuit during a 
sitting, I lingered within earshot for the purpose of taking notes, and heard Phinuit 
say bronical without making any correction. 


Mr. B. Hodgson. 

tiun of the facts known t(j the noi'inal waking self. (See " A Case of 
Double Consciousness," Proceedings, Part XIX.) Supposing that 
there is such a pai'tial obliteration, I have no suggestion to offer as to 
its extent, unless it be that Phinuit possesses the subconsciousness of 
Mi's. Pijjei', so that he knows all that Mrs. Piper has known and 
lias forgotten, hut is ignorant of what she can still consciously remember. 
But, again, I am unable to trace any connection between the apparent 
deficiencies in Mrs. Piper's sense-organs during the trance state and 
any limitations of the knowledge exhibited by Phinuit. 

I made one attempt only, unsuccessful, to hypnotise Mrs. Piper. 
Professor James, after several trials with her, succeeded in producing a 
semi-hypnosis which he describes as " very different from her medium- 
trance." (Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. G53.) I have frequently given 
Phinuit post-hypnotic suggestions concei'ning acts to be performed by 
Mrs. Piper in the waking state, but entirely without i-esult. The 
attempts of Professor James in the same direction were also unavailing, 
and we have both tried to obtain, dui'ing Mrs. Piper's waking state, 
some manifestation of Phinuit l)y gesture, speech, or automatic writing, 
in reply to our inquiries and commands, and duiing the trance state 
some manifestation of Mrs. Piper; but no I'esj^onse of any kind was 
elicited from the temporarily " hidden " personality. 

§ 10. Conclusion. 
These considerations are all that I can offer at present towards the 
elucidation of the Phinuit personality, and they leave me still unsatisfied 
with any simple interpretation. As expeiiments are still proceeding, 
I have not entered into such a detailed discussion as it seems to me 
would be desirable were this report to be looked upon as final. So 
far, howev er, I am convinced, as regards the ))are information shown 
hy Phinuit, that it cannot be accounted for entirely by thought-trans- 
ference from the sitters, and that at least some hypothesis which goes 
as far as thought-transference from the minds of distant living persons 
is demanded. Although Phinuit purports to obtain most of his infor- 
mation from " spirits," he has at times stated that some of his informa- 
tion he obtained himself from the sitter's "surroundings" (as once in my 
own case), or from the sitter's "astral light" (Report, No. 23) — a phrase 
which he doul)tless acquired from a previous sitter, just as he learned 
the word "ethereal" from myself. Possibly Phinuit maybe assisted 
in some way by inanimate objects which have been much worn or 
1 Kindled by siiecihc persons, and, as I have said, they seem to add to 
the chances of his success. There are some striking examples of 
this already I'eferred to in the i-eports, reminding one of the singular 
term " psychometry " (originated, I believe, by J. R. Buchanan in 
1842), so common in Spiritualistic literature. Pliinuit apparently 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 57 

claims that such objects bi'ing him into relation with the persons who 
have handled them, whether such persons be living or dead. Now 
where the sitter knows the circumstances connected with the oljject, 
the associations will probaljly form a specially vivid cluster of ex- 
periences in his mind, conscious or suljconscious, owing to the very 
presence of the object within the held of his perception, and this may 
help Phinuit to discover and disentangle these associations by direct 
thought-transference. Where, on the other hand, the sitter is ignorant 
of the circumstances connected with the object, it may, at any rate, 
form a sort of 2^oint de repere enabling Phinuit to get telepathically, 
through the mind of the sitter, at the mind of the distant living- 
person from whom the object was obtained and who knows of its 

And here we touch what is pei-haps the most important question 
concerned in the phenomena cijnnected with Mrs. Piper's trance-state. 
Putting aside all the facts which can be exjDlained by direct thought- 
transference from the sitter, and considering simply the information 
given which was not known to the sitter and which purports to come 
from " deceased " persons, but which was known to, and afterwards 
verified by, distant living persons, — is there sufficient ground for 
concluding that Phinuit is in direct communication with " deceased "' 
persons, and that he is a " deceased " person himself as he alleges 1 I 
think that the evidence here presented, together with that previously 
published, is very far from sufficient to establish any such conclusion, 
and indeed the failures in answering test-questions and the apparent 
ignorance displayed in other ways by the alleged " communicatoi's," 
such as I have instanced in connection with Mrs. Blodgett s exjjeri- 
ments (pp. 10-16), the " E." control (p. 44), and the additional cases 
furnished me by Miss W. (pp. 28-4.3), constitute almost insuperalile 
objections to the supposition that the " deceased " persons concerned 
were in direct communication with Phinuit, at least in anything like 
the fulness, so to speak, of their personality. Whether Phinuit )nay 
jiot possibly get into some indirect communication — actual, though 
partial and fragmentary — with " deceased " persons, is a much more 
difficult question to determine, and I venture to think that this 
hypothesis is one that should be continually borne in mind. 

The hypothesis which for a long time seemed to me the most 
satisfactory is that of an auto-hypnotic trance in which a secondary 
personality of Mrs. Piper either eiToneously believes itself to be, or 
consciously and falsely pretends to be, the " spirit " of a deceased 
human being, Phinuit or Scliville, and further fictitiously represents 
various other personalities according to the latent ideas of some of 
the sitters. Several facts which I -have mentioned — especially con- 
cerning the name " Dr. Fin-ne " as that of Mr. Cocke's " control," 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

witnessed by Mrs. Piper before her trances began, the adoption of 
this name by Mrs. Pijuer's trance-personality, its coii'uption into 
Phinnnit, later into Phinuit, and the subsequent apparent prevarica- 
tion to ex2:)lain these facts away — seem to point strongly towards this 
view. My confidence, however, in this explanation has been consider- 
ably shaken by further familiarity with tlie Phinuit personality and 
other allied "manifestations" of Mrs. Piper's trance-state, and I have 
no certain conviction that any single theory which has been put 
forward is really the correct one. I do not know of any precise 
parallel to the phenomena which we are here discussing, among any 
of the recorded types of hyjinotic trance where the action of other 
than embodied human intelligence is a plainly superfluous hypothesis. 
It is much to be desired that any of our members who may happen 
to haA'e ample opportunity for experiment with hypnotic subjects,, 
should, by endeavouring to reproduce cases akin to Mrs. Piper's, see 
what can be done in the way of demonstrating whether these phe- 
nomena can be fully accounted for without supposing the action of 
such extraneous intelligence. 

Addenchnn. May, 1892. 

The foregoing report is based upon sittings not later than 1891. 
Mrs. Piper has given some sittings very recently which materially 
strengthen the evidence for the existence of some faculty that goes, 
beyond thought-transference from the sitters, and which certainly 
2)rimd yacie appear to render some form of the "spiritistic" hypothesis 
more plausd^le. I hope to discuss these among other results in a later 

Observations of . Certain Phenomena of Trance. 59 



The following accounts of sittings comprise nearly all the records-, 
which I have received (before November, 1891). I possess several 
records which I have no permission to use, and several others which, 
either from the fragmentariness of the account or the insufficiency of 
the explanations of the statements made at the sitting, I regard as of no- 
value ; hwt all of these that I omit, I believe, are favourable to the ^dew 
that Mrs. Piper exhibits some supernormal faculty. So far as I am aware,, 
I have not omitted any other records in my possession — except, of 
course, the two series of stenographic repoi-ts dealt with by the 
Committee of the former American Society for Psychical Research^ 
and the recent series concerning articles sent by Mr. " V." (See p. 132.)- 
It is hardly needful to point out that the records differ widely in 
e-vidential value. Some of them are made from very full notes taken 
during the sittings, others from memory long afterwards, but I think 
that all of them will prove of some service in our endeavour to get at 
the real meaning of the Phinuit personality, of which it is desirable to 
have as complete a history as possible. 

The series of reports 1 — 17 are of sittings which came under my 
own immediate arrangement or v/ere noted by me, and may be regarded 
as a representative (iiot selected) group. 

Reports 18 — 23 were forwarded to me by Professor James, and 
reports 21 — 28 by the Rev. M. J. Savage ; reports 36 and 38 I received 
owing to my having made the appointment for the sittings. In 
connection with the work of the Society I ascertained the names of 
many persons who had had sittings with Mrs. Pijjer, and endeavoured 
to obtain accounts from them, but with little success. Reports 29, 30, 
33, 34, 37, 39, and 40 represent the result. Mrs. Piper also furnished 
me, at my request, with some names of persons who had had sittings 
with her, and hence reports 31, 32, and 35. Report 41 is of specific 
experiments made by myself at difFei'ent times with locks of hair. 

Reports 42 — 53 form a representative group of sittings given by 
Mrs. Piper since her return to America. 

I have also the stenographic reports of my attempts in 1888 (Maj 
26th, June 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 30th) to obtain better explanations from 
Phinuit himself of his own " control," kc. (see pp. 2, 3). I have used 
these largely and quoted from them in the previous pages. It seems 
unnecessary to print further exti-acts at present. 

^ See iny reference to this on p. 2, and the remark of Professor James in S.P.E. 
Proceedings, Vol. VI., pp, 052-3. The stenographic reports -ivere for the private use 
of the Committee. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

1. B. ILxhjson. Fird SittiH'j. May Wi, 1887. 10.30 a.m. 

[From notes made on return to my rooms immediately after the sitting.] 

Pliinuit began, after the usual introduction, by describing members of my 

"Mother living, father dead, little brotlier dead." [True.] Father and 
mother described correctly, though not with much detail. In connection 
with the enumeration of the members of our family, Phinuit tried to get a 
name beginning with "R," but failed. [A little sister of mine, named 
Rebecca, died when I was very young, I think less than eighteen montlis 

" Four of you living besides mother. " [True.] 

Phinuit mentioned the name "Fred." I said that it might be my cousin. 
■"He says you went to school together. He goes on jumping-frogs, and 
laughs. He says he used to get the better of you. He had convvdsive 
movements before his death, struggles. He went off in a sort of spasm. 
You were not there. " [My cousin Fred far excelled any other person that 
I have seen in the games of leap-frog, fly the garter, &c. He took very 
long flying jumps, and whenever lie played, the game was lined by crowds of 
school-mates to watch him. He injured his spine in a gymnasium in 
Melbourne, Australia, in 1871, and was carried to the hospital, where he 
lingered for a fortnight, with occasional s^jasmodic convulsions, in one of 
which he died.] 

Phinuit described a lady, in general terms, dark hair, dark eyes, slim 
figure, &c. , and said that she was much closer to me than any other person : 
that she "died slowly. Too bad you weren't with her. You were at a 
•distance. It was a great pain to both of you that you weren't there. She 
would have sent you a message, if she had known she was going. She had 
two rings ; one was buried witli her body ; the other ought to have gone to 
you. The second part of her first name is — sie." [True, with the exception 
of the statement about the I'ings, which may or may not be true. I have 
been unable to ol)tain any information about them. No ring ever passed be- 
tween tlie lady and myself. Slie died in Australia in 1879. There were no 
relations between her family and ours after 1875. After trying in vain to 
"hear distinctly " the first part of the name, Phinuit gave up the attempt, 
-and asked me what the first name was. I told him. I shall refer to it 
afterwards as " Q."] 

In reply to Phinuit's question as to tlie name of my living brother, I said 
■"Tom." " There are two Toms," said Phinuit, " both brothers ; the sjjirit 
brother is Tom as well." [True.] 

John was given as the name of my mother's father. [Since ascertained 
ito be not true.] 

Names of William and Robert —said to be not living — were mentioned ; 
and also Alfred, Alice, Arthur, Carrie, Charlie, Ellen, James, Lizzie, and 
Marie, but nothing specific was stated in connection with them. 

During the sitting I could not recall anyone named Marie, one of the 
names which Phinuit said lie heard. When "Charlie" was mentioned I 
tliouglit of a living friend of mine and said so. No further details were 
given. As I walked down the street after the sitting was over, it flashed 

Observations of Certain Phcnoraena of Trance. 61 

upon me that Charlie was the name of a friend, an Oxford University man^ 
who had died in India (I think in 1885), that he was engaged to a young- 
lady whose first name was Marie, whom I knew exceedingly well and was 
accustomed to hear called Marie, and that tliese names had been connected 
in some way by Phinuit. This incident is doubly suggestive, as regards the 
extreme importance of stenographic reports in investigations of this kind. 
The relation between Marie and Charlie might not have been directly 
suggested by Phinuit at all, but might have been the result of my own 
mental action afterwards. On the other hand, during the sitting, I denied 
ever having known a Marie, and did not think of the Chai'lie who liad paid a 
special visit to my rooms in Cambridge, and whom I had accomi^anied tO' 
the station on his departure. As I have learnt by later experience, Phinuit 
frequently mentions a name, having some specific facts to give in connection 
with it if the sitter recognises the person Phinuit lias in mind. Thus, Fred, 
is mentioned, and I say that it might be my cousin, and Phinuit details 
highly characteristic marks of identity. Charlie is mentioned, and, possibly, 
I think of the wrong Charlie, and get nothing further. 

My younger sister was rightly spoken of by Phinuit as married, and he- 
used a phrase, the exact words of which I could not recall, implying clearly 
that she had three children. This was true, but I gave no sign of ajjproval, 
whereas I had been assenting to at least the important statements previously 
-made by Phinuit. Following my silence, Phinuit repeated the statement, 
and I again let it pass without agreeing ; whereupon he attempted to turn 
the phrase and have another "shot." "What I mean is tliat thei'e are- 
three in tlie family, don't you see 1 There's herself, and her husband, and 
one child. That makes three." I then told him that he had been right at 
first. " Why didn't you say so, then ? And there's another one coming very 
soon, and it's a boy." [True. My sister, who lives in Australia, had a. 
fourth child, a boy, before the end of May.] 

2. B. Hodgson. Second Sitting. Novcmhcr IStli, 1887. 12— 1 jj.m. 
[From notes made during the sitting.] 
• ' _ ■ m>v€mher IStJi, 1887. 

Various persons mentioned as in previous sitting. Fred — with 
description of death — Harry, &c. [Harry, Fred's brother, still living in_ 
Australia.] Other incidents repeated. The following is chiefly new 

Phinuit mentioned " Q." and apparently said that she had a sister and a 
brother. [Not true, as I believe ; I think that there was only one other- 
child in the family, still-boi-n ; I do not know the sex.] 

Phinuit said that " Q. " would soon be able to "control"; — referred to 
a black lace collar, with a pin with a head, also a ring with a stone, and 
said that "Q." wanted the pin and the ring to be given to me. [I 
recollect the collar distinctly, and the pi-ii vaguely, but cannot recall any- 
specific incidents attaching to them. I do not recall a "ring with a stone."] 

School-mate, with lot of freckles, little fellow, red liair, name that 
sounded something like Wingford — he lived with his grandmother. [This 
recalled a school-mate of mine — Australia, about 1868. One day I took him 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

on a bathing excursion, and lie was very anxious to get home by a certain 
time, because his grandmother had tokl him to do so, and I learnt. for the 
first time that his mother was dead. I felt a special tenderness for the boy 
ixfter this, but do not know what became of him. His name was not 
Wingford, but I struggled vainly at the sitting to recall it. Some hours later 
it came — Grim wood.] 

Referred to another school-mate mentioned by "Wingford " — this other 
\\'as lame — the name sovmded like Brookford. [Grimwood used to sit on the 
front row, and on the same row, and I think next to Grimwood, sat a boy 
who was lame. His name was not Brookford, but I think was something 
like Brooks.] 

Referred to Charles Knight, and said his uncle was present. [I think that 
Charles Knight sat immediately behind me in the same class, but I also knew 
a Charlie Knight at a Sunday-school, and cannot distinguish them clearly.] 

Edward — a Dr. — "Tell him he uses his brain tooinuch." He hasn't 
been very well. [I was associated in S. P. R. matters with a Dr. Edward 

, whose other work was slightly straining him at the time, but hardly 

-so as to justify Phinuit's statement.] 

Weldon. Wilton: "He's all right." [I knew both a Weldon and a 
Wilton intimately, the former in England, the latter in Australia, but nothing 
specific was mentioned concerning either of them.] 

[I here made inquiry concerning an incident which occurred on 
November 9th, 1887. On the afternoon of that day a lady called ujion me, 
with whom I had corresponded concerning her " mediumistic " (private) 
experiences. During the interview she obtained an "impression" with 
reference to myself, that she said came from a person who was slow at 
expressing his thoughts, and who had never " communicated " before. She 
thought the communication came from a man ; but the only word she could 
get was Lakes. I described the occurrence, and asked Phinuit if he could 
explain it.] He said at once, "Henry Lakes,'" connected with Emily and 
Sarah. Both "passed " [dead], he also ; lived at house at corner of a Park- 
street in England, an old house. [These remarks recalled to me an elderly 
man, who lived in a house at, or close to, the corner of Park-street and the 
passage from St. John-street into Park-street. I think that two young ladies 
lived in the same house, which I passed several times a day on my way to 
and from my lodgings in Park-street. I have no remembrance of ever 
knowing the names of any of them. Mr. Myers inquired, and cannot 
ascertain that anyone of the name of Lakes lived there.] 

J. gave a descrij^tion of Mr. J. [Full name given.] Said J. was in 

spirit land some time, couldn't tell exactly how long, difficulty in estimating;- 
time. George J. mathematics, some jiaper in a book in a desk. Tell Al. 
something — to get it ; will be useful. [There was an obscurity about this 
message, l)ut my impression was that Phinuit wished to convey to me that 
Mr. J. was dead. The family was identified clearly enough. The eldest 
son George had specialised in mathematics, and one of the daughters is 
named Alice. I had not heard anything about the J. 's since leaving England 
in April, 1887. Two years after the sitting I learnt that Mrs. J., who 
was a special friend of mine, died on November 10th, 1887. Mr. J. is 
still living.] 

Observations of Certain Phenomena^ of Trance. C3 

Referred to beautiful teeth of " Q. " Said that she wanted me to keep 
the book of poems always with me, the book which I had sent her, and had 
received back. I should recollect the writing in front of it, wliich I had 
written myself. [" Q. 's " teeth were not beautiful. On the contrary, a year 
or two before her death, the state of her teeth compelled the drawing of a 
large number of them. Many were taken out at one time, and the opera- 
tion entailed upon her a severe nervous exhaustion, from which, however, 
she was eventually supposed to have recovered. I had lent " Q." Tlie Prlnce^a 
(Tennyson), which had been returned. It is the only book in my possession, 
and I think the only book of any kind, which I had ever lent her. This 
book is now with most of my other books in England. It was my custom at 
that time to write favourite lines on the fly-leaves of special books. I do 
not recall with certainty what lines, if any, I had written in this book.] 

Marie. Aunt of Marie, in spirit world, appeared, but witli veil before, 
couldn't impress or be seen distinctly, hair parted in middle, curled back 
over ears, peculiar crook in nose. [See note concerning name Marie in first 
sitting. I know nothing of her aunt.] 


[Phinuit said he could describe ray rooms by "leaving the medium" 
for five minutes, would try when I had the earliest sitting some morning, 
when not confused by atmosi:)heres of different spirits and different persons.] 

R. Hodgson. Third Sitting. November 29t]i, 1887. 9.30 «.jn. 

[The only special note which I can find concerning this sitting is tlie 
following, which I had written as an appendix to my account of the second 

Tried to describe the room at next sitting, which was poor, chiefly 
repetition ; but did not " leave the medium." The description was, on the 
whole, a failure, and failed as description of the rooms at the time. 

4. R. .Hodgson. Fourth Sitting. December ith, 1887. 
[From notess made during the sitting.] 

Just returned from sitting with Mrs. Piper. At my previous sitting I 
liad arranged with "Dr. Phinuit" that he should make inquiries of my 
{dead) friends, and communicate the results to me at the next subsequent 
sitting. I had arranged for sitting on Wednesday, November 30th, 1887, 
'9.30 a.m., the first which Mrs. P. should give that morning, but Mrs. P. 
begged to be allowed to give a sitting at 8.30 a.m. to a lady who was going 
to New York, to which I assented. On Wednesday morning Mrs. P. told 
me that she liad considerable difiiculty in going into trance for her previous 
visitor. After waiting for about half an hovu- with me, Mrs. Pijjer gave up 
the sitting, as she could not go into trance. The sitting of tliis morning 
was substituted for Wednesday's. 

Usual preliminaries, and then "Dr. Phinuit" started away at once without 
any remark at all by me, to reproduce what he recollected of his conversa- 
tions. I changed my seat to tlie floor partly behind Mrs. Piper, where I 
-could get enough light to make notes. 


M r. R. Hodgson. 

1. Information purporting to have been received from " Q." The chief 
new matter was : 

(o) That I had given her a book, "Dr. Phinuit" thinks, of poems, and 
I had written her name in it, in connection with her birthday, 

(/)) [Correct. This includes a reference to circumstances 

under which I had a very special conversation with "Q." I 
think it impossible that " Q. " could have spoken of this to any 
other person. It occurred in Australia in 1875.] 

(c) That she "left the body" in England, and that I was across the 
country. [This is incorrect. "Q."died in Australia. I was in 

2. Information purporting to have been received from my cousin Fred. 
The chief new matter was : 

(a) That I was not there when he swung on the trapeze and fell and 
injured his spine, iinally dying in a convulsion. [At my first sitting 
the accident was not described, only the death, at which I was 
rightly said not to have been jjresent. At this sitting the accident was 
described, at which also I was rightly said not to have been present.] 

(h) That he wanted to remind me of Harris at school, who was a very 
able man, &c. [I believe it was also stated that Fred and myself 
talked together about Harris, and that Harris had a high opinion of 
Fred's ability. This was all true. Harris was a schoolmaster who 
taught Fred and myself (Melbourne, Australia), about 1868 or 
.1869. I saw Harris, I think, a short time after my cousin's death 
(in 1871), and he expressed his regrets, &c. I do not recall having 
seen or heard anything of Harris since.] 

(c) That his father was my mother's brother. [True.] 

All the preceding matter came steadily out, after which "Dr. Pliinuit " 
appeared to have exhausted his recollections, and to be attempting to get 
further information there and then. He referred to a church to which both 
" Q." and myself used to go, and then asked if it was in "Hanover Square." 
I replied. No, whereupon he told mc not to note anything until he got it 
" clearer." 

"Dr. Phinuit" then charged me with weighing too much who he was, 
where he came from, &c. , while he was trying to give me information, and 
said that this harassed and confused him. I should, he said, be as 
"negative "as possible during the sitting. [The charge was justified, as I had 
actually drifted into the consideration of wliat Phinuit was, &c.] 

He referi-ed to a "Joe," but told me nothing special about him. 
[Although I had a special friend in Australia whom I used to call Joe.] 

He said he heard "something about being in Yorkshire." Was the 
lady [i.e., " Q."] in Yorkshire ? (No.) [I have spent holidays in Yorkshire, 
and my father was a Yorkshireman.] 

* * * * * * ' ■ 

"Dr. Phinuit " then said there was something in my pocket connected 
with a loss, and a.sked me to empty the objects from my pocket into her 
and. I asked which pocket? "The right pants pocket." I gave 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


her each article in turn, and she rejected all, and then said it was 
in my other pocket. She rejected purse and lens from this pocket and 
grabbed at the keys. She ('' Dr. Phinuit ") said I had lost some of my keys 
near some mountains. There was a big mountain near ; the keys were lying 
near a walk, by some leaves. There was a cottage near. The kej's were 
still there. They were on a ring, something different from the holder of the 
keys in her hand. What lield the lost keys was round. [I had lost my key.s 
in the Adirondack Mountains, and hunted vainly for them. They were 
found after my departure from camij on a spot answering to " Phinuit's " 
description. Before their recovery, however, I had been compelled to 
obtain du^jlicates of most of the keys, and had fastened these on a heart- 
shaped holder. The old keys were fastened on a common key-rinr/. All that 
"Phinuit " said was known to me. " Phinuit" was right in all except in the 
statement that the lost keys were still in the mountains. At the time of the 
sitting they were locked up in my desk. I believe that some of the old 
keys were on the new buncli, though I cannot be certain of this, not having: 
noted tliis point at the time.] 

Tasked "Dr. Phinuit" to get me information, before my next sitting, 
concerning: 1. Full name of lady — "Q." 2. Detailed description of face. 
3. Place of dying. 4. The church to which "Dr. Phinuit" referred^ 
5. Details of the finding of my keys, witli all the persons concerned. 

5. R. Hodgson. Fifth Sittiiuj. Decemhcr 23)-d, 1887. 
[From notes made during the sitting.] 

Fred says you came from Australia. [True.] Lady, "Q.,"says so too, 
says she was there and knew you tliere, and used to be a great friend of your- 
sister. [True.] You heard about her death by letter from your sister. [True.] 
[Little confusion about letters. This note was made during the sitting.] 

You went into Germany. Fred went with you in spirit. You went tO' 
G-erraany after father went into spirit. (No.) Got awfully provoked with a. 
lady in Germany. You said she was deceitful, called her a storyteller. [True. 
While in Germany, in 1882, I charged a lady with falsehood under somewhat 
peculiar circumstances. My father died in 188.5.] 

Harris. [See previous sitting.] 

Wordsworth and St. John's. Fred mentions it, i.e., Fred mentions that" 
one of my chief reasons for choosing St. John's College was the fact that 
Wordsworth was a Johniaa. [True, though Fred died in 1871, and it was. 
years afterwards when I first contemplated going to Cambridge.] 

Mary Chadwick. [No significance. I know a family named Chadwick, but. 
not any Mary Chadwick.] 

Ellis ? Bates '? Connected or associated with "Q." [I know nothing- 
about " Q. 's " companions between 1875 and 1879.] Isn't her name Eller- 
ton ? (No.) Doesn't it end with " on " ? (You must tell me.) Her hair is 
brown, blue eyes, she's rather small, slim, hair darker than yours, prominent, 
nose, considerable colour in cheeks, rather pretty teeth. She says she died, 
in England. (Wrong. Your description of " Q." all wrong.) [Note made 
during sitting. She went over facts correctly.] [The preceding note apparently 
means that the general description and place of deatli of "Q.," Australia^ 
were correctly given.] 



Mr. R. Hodgson. 

We then had a long talk about tlie " Phinuit'.s " powers, Ac, and he said 
that I had confused him l)y not letting liim go his own way, that when he 
^vas trying to get through his uieinories of what Fred had told him I inter- 
rupted him, &c., and that he got mixed up about what " Q. " told him, that 
I had asked him too many things at once, &c. ; said he would ascertain 
full name of ''Q. " and her exact description, and that would be enough. 
[The aljove sitting bejian by Phinuit's saying that he liad had long talks 
with Fred, and that he now knew all about me, that Fred in spirit had 
accompanied me wherever I went, &c. I interrupted Phiuuit by demanding 
replies to my specific (]uestions asked at previous sittings.] 

0. B. Hodgson.. Sixth Sitting. January 20th, 1888. 
[From notes taken during sitting, with several minor points recollected after- 
wards during the same day.] 
Had a sitting this morning with Mrs. Piper. 

Phinuit referi-ed to "Q.," said she spoke of a Loo — something. [Louie 
was the name of a cousin of "Q. ," very intimate with "Q." and myself in 

childhood.] Said her full name was "Q." A . Is that right? (No.) 

Well, she says "Q. " A . [A is the surname of other cousins of 

" Q.," who frequently stayed at her house, and were well known to me.] 

Phinuit then proceeded to give a general descriiotion of "Q.," right so 
far as it went, and described the eyes as " dark." She then began to rub 
the right eye on the under side, saying, "There's a spot here. This eye 
(left) is brown, the other eye has a spot in it of a light colour, in the iris. 
This spot is straggly, of a bluish cast. It is a birth-mark. It looks as if it 
had been thrown on. [Being asked to describe its shape.] It is like this, 
running in towards the pupil. " [Presenting the back of one hand towards 
3ue, with fingers pointing downwards, and tracing on the little finger-nail, 
with the forefinger of the other hand, an acute-angled triangle v/ith apex 
■upward — tluis : — 

I asked her t;) draw it, the re uilt being the figure, a reproduction of v/hicli 
is attempted below : — y 


This was drawn with the block-book held away from Mrs. P., where she 
•could not .see what she was drawing, her eyes being behind and clos3 to the 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


Hock-book.] "This (U) is the top part i.if the iris. This (L) is the bijttom. 
This (P) is the pupil. The light part is here" [luakiDg the other lines in the 

[" Q." had a splash of wliat I should call (//•<?;/ (rather than blue) in the 
right eye, occupying the position and having very nearly the shape assigned 
by Phinuit. I should have drawn it as I remember it, thus : — 


It v/as very peculiar ; a little jagged in the edges, and sharply and dis- 
tinctly marked off from the rest of the hwim iris. I asked Phinuit how he 
obtained the information about the eyes. He said that " Q." was standing 
close to him and shov\'ing him her right eye so that he could see it clearly, 
and saying that that was what I wanted. This peculiarity in the eye was 
what I had in mind when I asked Pliinuit for a detailed description of 
"Q.'s" face.] 


7. Mrs. Howard Ohie. Fdrruanj, 1888. 
[Appointments made by R. H. No name given.] 

Mrs. Okie had two sittings with Mrs. Piper, at both tif which I Avas 
present. I took notes during the first sitting on February 1st, 1888, 
but I cannot find any notes of the second sitting, on February 8th, 
1888, excejjt a brief entry in my diary. At this second sitting Mrs. 
Okie's father was again described, and said to be her father. The name was 
also given, being spelt out Vaughn, the real name being Vaughan. There 
was also what apparently purported to be the direct "control" l)y Mr. 
Vaughan, addressing Mrs. Okie as his " daughter Lily, " according to Mr. 
Vaughan's custom when alive. "Lily, I jiassed away in my chair." It was 
also stated that he was reading Mill's Loijic when he died. Mr. Vaughan 
died in Providence, R.I. He was found dead in his chair before the fire, 
with a book in his hand, but Mrs. Okie has been unable to ascertain the name 
of the book. Mr. Vaughan was much interested in philosojjhical questions, 
and talked with me about Mill, Hamilton, Spencer, &c. In this second 
sitting the name Henry was also given, and Phinuit stated that Heniy was 
managing the money matters all right. Henry is the name of Mrs. Okie's 
brother, but the statement about him made by Phinuit liad no sjjecial 

Mrs. Okie writes: "My first sitting with Mrs. Pifier was not at all 
satisfactory to me. There seemed to me to be a great deal of guessing and 
' hedging. ' As we were leaving the house we met friends, two of whom 
had known me since I was a young girl. Owing to this occiu-rence I could 
not help feeling a bit suspicious on my next visit when the medium was able 
to give the full names of many of my relatives with pei'fect accuracy and 
confidence ; but nothing was given to me which those friends did not know." 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

8. Saml. A. Hopldns, M.D. I^privij of 1888. 
[Appointment made by R. H. No name given.] 

235, Marlborongh-street, Jm>e 21 th, 1890. 
My Dear Hodgson, — I have no notes of my sitting with Mrs. Pi2)er, nor 
was there anything remarkable to record, save, possibly, one incident, which 
is perfectly clear in my mind. After the usual I'ubbish of mentioning a lot 
of names — John, Will, Fanny, &c., she seemed to stick at Lily, and insisted 
that I knew Lily, and asked me ^vdlo the doctor was who was near Lily, and 
insisted that I knew liim. [Mrs. Okie's husband is a doctor. — R. H.] Then 
she said, " Tliere is someone here who has been in spirit land only a short 
time, who wants to send a message to Lily. V — A — U — G — H — N — 
Yaughn wants to send a message to Lily. He wants you to give her his 
kind regards. Don't forget it, now. Vaughn has only been here a little 
while, and is a little lame," Mrs. Okie's father had been dead only a short 
time, and I afterwards found was a little lame, though I had never discovered 
it. Tlie other statements of Mrs. Piper's were either wrong or entirely 
negative. ... S. A. Hopkins. 

9. T. P. Da-ham. May 21d-22nd, 1888. 
[Appointments made by R. H. No name given.] 

Notes w6re made by me during the sitting. Mr. Derham is my brother- 
in-law, having married my younger sister. He resides in Melbourne, 
Australia. The sitting was a successful one, though Phinuit inade a few 
mistakes. Several circumstances mentioned were unknown to me, among 
them the following. Early in the fii'st sitting, Phinuit said : ' ' Something 
lost. Pin. Watch cliain. What the devil is that thing you've lost ? " And 
later on in tlie same sitting returned to it : " You've lost something. It's a 
funny rf>und thing ; a ring thing, don't you know 1 Black fellow got it. 
You'll never see it again. You lest it escapading. " Mr. Dei'ham says : — "I 
was the last to leave the railway carriage at Niagara, and left my field-glass 
suspended by its strap to a bar below the roof. I have no doubt the coloured 
conductor secreted it. I had telegrams sent to every station, but never re- 
covered tlie glass." 

Mr. Derham's comments on the sittings sufficiently explain their char- 
acter: — Avgnst 18th, 1890. — I have made no study of the subject, but am 
inclined to think that the condition into which Mrs. Piper seemed to pass 
was real and not assumed. For one thing, I d(j not think a nervous woman 
could go tlu'ough the teeth-grinding she did without shuddering. The only 
incident that would incline me to the contrary view is that when she said I 
had lost something slie put her hand to my watch-chain, whicli had a short 
jjendant chain, Init notliing at the end of the pendant. She seemed to infer 
that what was lost had been attached to the pendant ; though she did not 
say so. 

' ' I may say that scarcely anything she said was in my mind the moment 
before she spoke, though everything of which I now have any knowledge, 
except prophecies, was stored somewhere in my mind. 

" I was much impressed with her groping after ' Eggleston,' my partner's 
name. I feel sure that if it had been a little less difficult she would have 
found the name. [The nearest approach was 'Everson.'] 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


' ' Tlie liistory of my family, living and dead, was given straight out — 
without any guessing and without the slightest assistance from either Dr. 
Hodgson or myself. I think I did not speak at all, and Dr. Hodgson only 
.s]3oke to bring her to the point. 

" If I remember rightly, Mrs. Piper rejjresents herself as taken possession 
of by the sjairit of a deceased doctor whose name I forget. (Is it Phinuit ?) 
In fact, the iirst words she uttered after 'going off' were, 'Comment vous 
portez vous ? ' and she continued, with more or less constancy, to sj)eak in 
broken English. I do not for a moment believe this pretence, and am, 
therefore, inclined to say that Mrs. Piper introduces some humbug into her 
performances, though, as I do not understand the subject, she may be 
herself deceived. The exjjlanation that would harmonise with my imjiression 
at the interviews is, that she had the power of reading, not my thoughts at 
the moment, but facts stored away in the recesses of my memory. 

" I do not know that I can usefully add anything, except that I am naturally 
sceptical, and, by training, incredulous." 

10. Mrs. Blodijctt. Man 30f^, 1888. 9.30 a.m. 

Mrs. Blodgett was anxious to obtain a special test, if possiVjle, con- 
cerning her deceased sister. She gives an account of this in the 
following statement : — 

Miss Hannah Wild died July 28th, 1886. She was a strong Baptist, — 
never went to any other church. About one year before her death a paper 
in Boston jsublished what claimed to be a message from our dead mother. 
My sister was very much wrought up about it. 

I had been very much interested in the subject for about two years, 
but as far as I had gone had never got anything true, only what could 
have been mind-reading. So I told sister all my experience and asked her 
to write me a private letter, and if ever she came back she was to tell me 
what was in it. If she could not tell I was not to believe it was her sjsirit. 
We talked it over every day for weeks, in fact every time she had a bad 
spell I would say, " Sister, you have not written me the letter." One day, 
about a week before she died, she said, " Bring me pen and paper. If sjoirit 
return is true, the world should know. I will write the letter. It will also 
prove that the dead do not lie asleep in their graves waiting for a resurrec- 
tion, like the Second Adventists believe." 

She wrote the letter, — sealed it (no mortal hands were to touch it), and 
put it into a tin box with bank book, where it was to remain until I got a 
copy of it that sounded like her. When she handed me the box she said, 
" If I can come back, it will be like ringing the City Hall bell." She spoke 
about the letter often after. I told her I would wait for an answer if I had 
to get an English medium to answer. 

My hands have never touched that letter. It is in my husband's safe. 
When I sent to Professor James, I took it out with scissors. — Yours, 

Mrs. Bessie Blodgett, sister of Miss Hannah Wild. 
Holyoke, Jidtj, 1890. 

P.S. — The letter is in my husband's safe, where it has been kept ever 
since we were married. • 


Mr. R. Hodgso'n. 

Mi'S. Blodgett, having seen a notice of the American S. P. R. in a 
papei" in the hxtter part of 1886, in which the name of Professor 
James was mentioned, wrote to him, teUing liim the circumstances of 
the letter wi-itten by her sister. As a result of the correspondence, 
Professor James endeavoured to oljtain some information from 
Phinuit. A brief account of the experiment, which was a faihire, was. 
given by Professor James {^Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. G57), but it appears 
ta me to be of such extreme importance in the^endeaAT)ur to estimate- 
the significance of the Phinuit personality that I give the details- 
Mrs. Blodgett sent Professor James a glove that her sister wore on the 
day she wrote the letter, and the lining from her sister's hat. The 
original copy of what purported to be tlie letter — sent to Professoi* 
James by Mr. J. M. Piper, the father-in-law of Mrs. Piper, and after- 
wai'ds returned to him — I have been unable to obtain. It was either 
lost or destroyed. Mrs. Blodgett, however, made a substantial copy of 
.it, and I reproduce her copy of it here, with her remai'ks. Mr. Pipei', 
as appears from one of his comnninications to Professor James, had 
many sittings for the purpose of obtaining the letter, and was quite 
confident that he had been conversing with the " spiiit " of Hannah 

*'"P'J "f Letter dictated by Phinuit. 

1. Dear Sister, — In the bottom of my tiunk in the attic with my 
clothes I liave placed a little money, and. some jewels given to me, as you 
know, by mother, and given to her by grandfather who has now passed 
away. Bessie, I now give ti> you ; they are all I have, I wish I could have 
more. It has grieved me not a little not to have given the Society something, 
but as you know, sister, I am unable to do so. If it be possible I will give 
them my presence in spirit. [Sister left no trunk. Never lived in any house 
with an attic. Mother never gave her any jewels. Mother's father died in 
1835. Mother died in 1880, and gave all her jewels to me. These jewels had 
been previously given to mother by myself. Sister left money, and could 
have given the Society some had she cliosen to do so.] 

2. The table-cover which I worked one year ago I want you to give 
sister Ellen, John's wife. The reason I did not disjDose of them before will 
be a satisfactory proof of sjiirit return. My dearest sister, should you ever 
marry, as I think you will, take the money and use it as you think best, to 
buy a wedding outfit. [She never worked a table-cover. I worked one and 
gave her. Brother Jolni died when five years old. There is no one by the 
name of Ellen connected with the family. She did think I would marry, 
but knew that I had plenty of money to buy an outfit.] 

3. Do not dress in mourning for me, for if it be true the spii-it can return 
I want to see you di'essed in light, not black. Not for me now, my dear sister 
Bessie. Try to be cheerful and happy through your married life, and when 
you hear from me — this for you a copy, ' ' remember sister Hannah is not 
dead, only passed out of the body." I will give you a beautiful description 
of oiu' life thei'e and of my dailing mother if I see her. [Hannah alway.s 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 71 

wore black, and often said it would be wicked for nie to take it off, for my 
child always said, "Mamma, you will always wear black for me," and I have 
worn black for twenty years, ever since my child died.] 

4. In regard to brother Jolm I forgot to say I worked him a pair of 
slippers, and they are in the bottom of that old-fashioned carpet-bag of mine, 
with the check silk handkerchief of grandma which your uncle Ezra brought 
from California. The bag hangs in my room, in the closet. [Brother John 
died July 10th, 1858, aged five years. Hannah never worked liim any 
slippers. Slie did embroider a memorial piece with the date of his death on. 
This was framed, and has hung on the wall since 1860. There has been no 
old carpet-bag in the family since 1856, when we moved. Sister Hannah 
made it into a ftoor-niat, which I now have on the floor ; it was between the 
kitchen and the sitting-room when Hannah died, and had been tliere for 
years. We had a check .silk handkerchief that came from England, but not 
from grandma. One grandma died in 1815, the other about 1860. Never 
was any Ezra connected with the family. My husband was in Calif<-)rnia from 
1868 to 1870. His name is Charles.] 

5. The wreatli of flowers which we pressed and was laid on mother's 
casket keep for your cliildi'en, if you have any. Always remind them it is a 
token from Aunt Hannah. I shall be with you, dear sister, if possible. All 
the little things I have done in this way is for the purpose of giving you tests, 
as I call them. If I can produce a copy of this after I have jjassed out you 
will fully understand that I am as conscious in the spirit, and have in my 
memoiy tlie things concerning this letter of which I now write. [We had no 
•wreath of flowers on mother's casket. A friend sent a bunch of lilies tied 
with white ribbon. These were put f/iside mother's cas!;et. A wreath of solid 
green English ivy was placed on top of the casket and was liuried with the 
casket. It was I alone who arranged tlie wreath.] 

6. In my little chest you will find two copies of tlie WomaiCs Journal, 
not to be disturbed until I write a copy of this. Tell my particular friend, 
Margaret Dow, I am sorry I left matters, so unsettled in connection with the 
paper. But not^vithstanding all, I will make a satisfactory explanation if it 
is possible for me to return. This thing concerns me here, as you know it 
was my life work there. Dear sister, the reason for writing this is to floor 
the fact of spirit return, as I know no human being can produce a copy of 
this, and no other spirit but my o^yT^. Dear sister, you say you want a test 
of my spii-it return. I shall now coyty this, so there will be no mistake. I 
may mix things up a little, but I do it as a test for my sister. [We had a 
small chest which at the time of Hannah's death was full of papers and tracts 
on different subjects, and this contained, among other tilings, perhajjs as 
many as thirty copies of the Woman's Journal. The chest was not Hannah's, 
and she never called it hers. It was my father's school chest, and we. all 
called it the " night-gown chest," as it was kejjt for that purjjose until 1874, 
when my boy died. Hannah called it the night-gown cliest all tlirough her 
sickness. No such person as Margaret Dow is known to us.] 

The following points may also be noted. They are taken from con- 
temporary letters [1887] written by Professor James and Mr. J. M. 
Piper, and were obtained by the latter from Phiuuit. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

1. The name of the writer of the letter was Miss Hannah Wild. [True.] 

2. "You [Mrs. Blodgett] were married last summer [1886], after your 
sister's death." [My sister died July 28th, 1886. I was married in the 
following winter, December 18tli, 1886.] 

3. ' ' There was an agreement between you and your sister that her letter 
was not to be opened till the 10th of October, 1887." It was ;ilso alleged that 
this date was mentioned in the letter. [Absolutely wrong.] 

4. " Miss Wild has given the following description of her former self : 
Eyes, bluish grey. [Correct.] Hair, dark brown sprinkled with grey. [Her 
hair was not dark brown but was light brown, and I do not think she had a 
grey hair in her head.] Nose, retrousse. [Wrong.] Teeth, jieculiar in 
appearance, some of them artificial. [Her teeth were very good, and so even 
that many asked if they were not false. She had four filled, but not one 
artificial.] And also stated that it was her custom to comb her hair straight 
back and do it up in a coil behind. [Wrong. She parted her liair in the 
middle, combed it down on each side, and wore it in a "French twist" 
behind.] My recollection is that she said her age was 48, but I will not be 
positive." [Her age was 51.] 

In 1888, Mrs. Blodgett made an appointment by letter with Pro- 
fessor James, to meet him and myself at my office, 5, Boylston Place, on 
the afternoon of May 29th, and I arranged an appcjintment with Mrs. 
Piper for the Wednesday morning, May 30th, Avithout, of course, men- 
tioning any names. I was present at the sitting and took notes, which are 
reproduced in the next account. The statements in the round brackets 
were made by Mrs. B. during the sitting ; those in square brackets are 
explanatory, and have been made hj myself since ; the other state- 
ments were made by Phinuit, as taken down by me during the sitting. 
T sent these notes recently to Mrs. B., requesting her to supplement my 
statements by further explanations, and she has given me a fuller 
account of the sitting, which appears to me to be in the main accui'ate, 
and has also added detailed notes of explanation. I think it desirable 
to give both my own original notes and Mrs. B.'s fuller account, 
especially as there was much important matter that I was unable to 
take down during the sitting. After the usual beginning, Phinuit 
during most of the sitting purported to be repeating the words of 
Mrs. B.'s sister. 

[From notes of R. H.] 

You have a sister here, and did you ever find out about tliat letter 1 
Anna. Hannah. Hannah Wild. Slie calls you Bessie Blodgett. You 
was in an audience and a message was thrown to you. She'll tell you all 
about that. How's the Society — the women you know ? Moses. He's in 
the body. I want to tell you about that letter. 

[Phinuit groj^es on the flof)r with hand to get a small leather bag, which 
Mrs. B. had taken into the room without saying anything about it to Mrs. 
Piper. Phinuit takes bag in lap, saying " Mine." Tries to open it, but fails. 

Observations of Certain Pheiwmena of Trance. 


Mrs. B. opens it. Mrs. B. says that her sister visually had much difficulty 
in opening the bag. ] 

[Takes spectacles, hair.] That's mine. Picture of mine here. [Mrs. B. 
shook her head. Finally Phinuit jiroduced a photograph of Miss Hannah 
Wild, tied up in a small parcel with other objects.] That's the picture. 
(Truly I didn't know that picture was there.) 

[Be letter, i.e., as Mrs. B. explains, the will of her sister.] This is to 
you. That was mine to you. I wrote it and gave it to you. That was my 
feelings at tlie time. I felt there was something that would never divide us. 
Wherever you go and whatever you do, don't vary from the instructions 
I gave you there. 

You remember my dress and my comb. You remember what I told you 
to do with my money. I told you personally, on my death-bed. Alice. Our 
sister's little girl. She is a namesake. (Shall I give her the money ?) Yes. 
(Wliat is this ?) [Giving Mrs. P. a paper in a yellow envelope.] Alice has 
written here for the disposition of the money. [Wrong.] This is my little 
niece. Mother's here. [Fingering the envelope and jmper.] Where's the 
doctor? (He's home.) Where's brother? (I don't know.) I'll tell you 
about him in a minute. Alice wrote this, — Sister Alice. 

Who's Sarah ? That belongs to gentleman over there. Sarah 01)s, 
Holjs. (Hodge ?) Hodge, Odge. [See below.] 

Where's my great big silk handkerchief / (The little niece has got it. 
You gave it to her.) Where's my thimble ? (Hovf many brothers have you 
got in spirit-life ?) One, — two, — three. Who's Henry ? He's in the spirit, 
but not with us — a good way off. He has been here weeks. 

Do you remember T told you it would l}e ringing a church bell ? (City 
Hall bell.) 

[Asked concerning the contents of the yellow letter.] Alice wrote to 
know about some money and the children. [Wrong. ] 

Who's William and the doctor ? Brother William. I've found him. 
He's all right. Don't worry about him. William's influence is stronger 
than mine. He'll come to see you every day and every hour. What do you 
think about the lot ? (What lot ?) The lot where he was buried. 

[Concerning the bag.] That's my own. I give it to you. 

[Asked concerning the contents of the sealed letter whicli she liad 
written on her death-bed.] Sacred and religious. I remember something 
about elevation of myself. 

William Henry is better out of the world than he was in it. 

(Cousin Elizabeth living ?) She's passed out of the body. [Mrs. B. writes 
on June 6th, 1888, that Elizabeth is still living.] 

Bo you remember the morning you rubbed me ? [Mrs. Blodgett writes : 
"Cannot recall any particular morning I rubbed sister. I did it every 
morning, and she would put her arms around me and kiss me and say liow 
good I was."] 

(Can you tell me what I did with the instrument that the doctor told 
me ?) You know what I did. I'm here and I want you to know it. Brother 
Henry was a queer genius. (Do you know what your brother Fred died 
Avith f) It was in his stomach. He passed out suddenly, congestion of 
organs in the stomachi 


i/r. R. Hodgson. 

You go up in luy rooms and sit tliere. [This, as I remember it, was an 
injunction and not a dogmatic statement.] (Can you tell me anything new 
I've got in my home ?) Give me the little one. [Meaning the picture.] It's 
tiken from this and elevated larger. [No reference to change of house, etc.,, 
of which Mrs. B. was thinking.] 

[Mrs. B. picked something wrajapsd in silk out of the Lag and asked what 
it was. Mrs. P. took it in her hand.] That's mother's chain. 

Sarah Hodson. [Here Phinuit explained that there was no "g" in the 
name, and that Sarah Hodson was a friend of Hannah.] Sarah's in the- 
body. [Mrs. Blodgett thinks that I made a mistake in noting this, and 
that Phinuit said that Sarah was not in the body.] 

Mrs. Blodgett writes on June 6th, 1888 :— 

I write to inform you that I have just received a letter from Philadelphia 
saying the lady, Mrs. Elizabeth Wild, who Mrs. Piper said was dead, is- 
living, and in much better health than she was two years ago when I heard 
from her. Perhaps you will remember sister Hannah said she went to see 
her after she left the body. I think I can exjjlain why she said so. The- 
letter which I brought fronr sister to have the medium read, and which she 
did not read correctly, was first written ' ' Did you go to cousin Elizabeth' 
after you left the body ? " Sister Alice then thought we had heard of that,, 
and so wrote the note which you read, and put it into the same envelope. 

The m'.>re I think of o'ur sitting the more strange points I see in it. It 
was all true, yet not one word I did not know. 

Another point : Sister Hannah was so slow and took so long to tell a 
story. She would go all around the story before she would touch the point, 
and you know that was not the case when we were sitting. Every medium I 
sit with says it is because I am so clear and my magnetism is so strong that 
they can get better tests. 

I almost know it was not sister for this reason. She said I was to go sit 
in her room. I did sit there evei-y day until we moved, and have wanted to 
so much since that I feel that it must have come from me. It is very 
wonderful how quick she got into my magnetism. This is the point I want 
to find out — did I enter the medium, or did she enter me, or was there a 
third party, and if so, who or what is the third i^arty ? 

Mrs. Blodgett writes on June 10th, 1888 :— 

I have just received a letter saying Sarah Hodson, cif Waterbury, Conn., 
is living, and is better than she was two years ago, when last sister Hannah 
heard from her. 

Mrs. Bl(.)dgett writes on July 10th, 1890 :— 

I have written from my own notes of sitting as I took them down that 
night. Yours are very good. Only, not knowing the j^arties, you seem to 
have misplaced one or two things. About the photo : I am sure I did not 
know it was there, as I brought another one, which I showed Professor 
James and you the night before. Also, what you call a letter was her will. . 
She did not give me name of Alice until she took mother's chain in hand, 
I cannot remember much about the place I have mai-ked with a cross ; 
only I know she was religious, and did say something about it. I know the 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


reason. I tried to get her to tell me her funeral text, but she did not. 
[This concerns the passage in my notes, referring to the contents of the 
sealed letter. — R.H.] 

Please note. — Brother Josejjh was travelling. She did not tell mc where 
he was. Alice's letter I did not know. That was not correct. Sarali Hod- 
son. Did not know. That was wrong. [According to my notes takeiu 
during the sitting, Phinuit was right about this. — R.H.] Cousin Elizabeth 
also. But what I knew was most all correct, except the bag. She said that 
■was hers, and it never was [though Miss Wild had frequently used it]. 

She took no notice of Maria's scissors in the bag, nor of the letter whicli 
was wrapped in rubber cloth. [Maria was my husband's first wife. Sister 
had known her, and also said many times during her sickness, when lie went 
away, " When I die, I will tell Maria all about him, how good he has been 
to me."] 

[Account by Mrs. Blodgett.] 

1. " Bessie, Betsie Blodgett, mj' sister. How glad I am to see you I I 
am Anna, Hannah, your sister, Hannali Wild. How's father and all tlie 
folks ? Oh I I am so glad to see you 1 " 

2. " Saw you once before in that audience. Threw a message at you." 
Mrs. B. : " AVhere was it ? " 

P. : "Oh, I will tell you all a))out that." 

3. "How's the Society, Lucy Stone and all of them'? " 

4. " Moses is here. He is in the body." 

5. " Want to tell you about my letter. " (Gropes around floor for bag, 
which I had taken in and whicli Mrs. P. had not seen.) " My photo in that 
bag." (Could not open the bag. I opened it.) Kept pulling things out of 
bag, saying, " Picture of mine in here." Finds picture. 

6. Taking spectacles in hand. " These are my old glasses. I have read 
many precious truths with them." 

7. Taking hair switch. "That's mine. I made it. Hard work, l^ut I 
did it." 

8. Picks up the will, wliicli slie had shaken out of the envelope when she 
found picture. " This is to you. I wrote it and gave to you. Tliat was my 
feelings at the time I wrote it. You did not think as I did. You made me 
feel sad sometimes. But you did take good care of me. I always felt tliere 
was something that would never part us. Do just as I told you to. Don't 
vary at all. You remember about my dress Where's my comb ? You 
remember about my money ? I told you what to do witli that. That ain't 
written in tliis paper. I told you that on my deatli-bed. " 

9. " How is Alice ? " Mrs. B. : " What Alice ?" P. : "The little girl 
that's a namesake." 

10. Takes Alice's letter in yellow envelope. Mrs. B. : "What is in 
that?" P. tore it open, saying: " Slie wants to know wliat's going to be 
done with the money." Mrs. B. : " Shall I give Clara part of the money ? " 
P. : "Yes." 

11. " Mother is here. Where's doctor ? Where's brother ? " 

12. Takes mother's chain in hand. It was wrapped in silk. I said. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

"Hannah, tell nie whose and what is that?" Feels of tassel on end of 
•chain. P.: " My niotlier's chain. Alice Wild, niy mother, and Alice Wild, 
my sister, wrote tliis letter." 

13. "Who's Sarah?" I asked, "Sarah Grover?" "No. Sarah 

Obb — Hodg " At last, after pointing to Mr. Hodgson, said it belonged 

to him. Then said it was " Sarah Hodson. " 

14. P. : "Where is my big silk handkerchief T' Mrs. B. : "I gave it to 
Clara. Ycm told me to." P.: "Where is my thimble?" Mrs. B. : "I 
don't know." P. : "I saw you put it into this bag." 

15. Mrs. B. : "Can you tell me, sister, how many brotliers you have 
in sj^irit-life ? " P. : " One, two, three." 

1(5. " Who's Henry ? He is in spirit a good way oft"." 
. 17. Mrs. B. : " Can you tell me wliere tliat letter is now tliat you wrote ? " 
P. : " It is at home, in tin box." Mrs. B. : "Can't you tell me more about 
it?" P. : "I have told you. It would l)e like ringing cluu'ch bells if I 
could come back." 

18. " Where's William and doctor ?" Mrs. B. : " Hannah, you tell me 
where William is ? " P.: " He is here. I found him." Mrs. B. : "How 
long has he been ? " P. : "Weeks. You know all about it. He sticks to 
you all the time every day. William wants to know how you like that lot." 
Mrs. B. : "What lot ? " P. : "You ought to know. You bought it to bury 
him in. William is better out of tlie world tlian in it. He was a strange 
fellow. He don't like that lot. Do you ? " I answered, "No." 

19. " Cousin Elizabeth is liere." Mrs. B. : " Hannah, did you go to see 
lier the day you died ? " P. : " I never did die." 

20. Mrs. B. : " Do you know what I did witli instrument doctor told me 
to do P. : " You know what you did." 

21. Mrs. B. : "Can you tell me what brother Fred died with?" P. : 
"Oh, sudden ; it was liis stomach. Congestion of stomach." 

22. Mrs. B. : " Can you tell me anytliing new that I have got since you 
went away ? " P. took small picture and said, " One from this. A larger 
one, elevated." 

23. Closed by saying it was cluu-cli time. She must go, as she never 
missed church. 

[Notes by Mrs. Blodgett on the f(jreg<)ing account, 1888.] 

1. Correct. Kept slap] ting me with lier hand. Just like sister. My 
name was Bessie Barr when sister died. 

2. Went to Lake Pleasant four weeks after she died. John Slater, 
medium, said, pointing to me in a large audience, " Lady here who wants to 
have you know slie is here. Henry, the lame man, is with her. Slie wants 
to know about big silk liandkerchief . Says she will tell you what is in that 
pajjer soon." 

3. I was down to Boston to attend the AVomen's Suffrage meetings. Lucy 
iStone is the editor of the Wom(ni\'i JinrrnaJ, and wrote a piece about sister 
when she died. 

4. Diiu't know any Moses. ■ ... 

Observations of CcrtoAn Phenomena of Trance. 

5. B;ig contained her glasses, hair, niotlier's chain, Maria's scissors, whicli 
she did not take out, and her letter, -s-i-i-apped up in rubber cloth, -R-hich she 
did not touch ; also her will, in ^vhich was the picture. It must have been in 
envelope when I put will in envelope, for I did not know that I had taken 
the photo with me ; also a letter which sister Alice had written for Hannah 
to tell what was in it. The letter was sealed. 

6. Correct. 

7. Her own hair, which she had learnt to weave into a switch. 

8. Correct, — but I do not know anything about any comb. The paper 
was about her books and dresses and all her personal effects except money. 

9. Sister Alice (living) had a cliild named Alice Olivia, and Hannali 
always called her Alice. The rest call her Ollie. Hannah did not like it, 
as she was named Alic3 after my motlier, and Olivia after my sister's, 
husband's mother. Hannah took pains to liave us all know she did not 
want the .-Uice di-opped. 

10. I do not know what was written in the letter. Sister Alice wrote 
it. But what was said about the contents was not con-ect. 

11. My husband is a doctor, known to Hannah. I have one brother 
living, jiamed Josepli, who travels most of the time. 

12. TJie chain was a long chain of mother's. It was cut in two after 
mother died. Hannah had worn one lialf. The half which I took to the 
sitting had not been worn since mother's death, and it had a tassel on the 
end, different from the half Hannah had worn. Did not tell who wrote the 
letter until she got the name with the chain. 

13. Sarah Hodson was a friend of sister's in Waterbury, Conn. I had 
thought of her the night before when I met Mr. H., as she also came from 
London, England. 

14. The handkerchief was a large silk one given to sister by a lady who 
lived with us for years, and it came from England. I did not know I had. 
put Hannah's thimble into the bag, but found on return to tlie hotel tliat it 
was there on the bed, with tlie rest of the things I had taken out of the bag 
before starting for the sitting. 

15. I asked her how many brothers because Williani had only been dead 
since March 27th, same year (1888). Wanted to have her tell me if she had 
seen him. '• Three " was correct. 

16. This Henry was my mother's only mile cousin, and slie had lived 
with him all her life until she was married. His picture Jiangs in tlie liouse. 
He was lame. The same one John Slater had told of before. (See Note 2.) 

17. The letter was in the bag wrapped up in rubber cloth. Sister did say 
when we put the letter in tin box, It would be like ringing the City Hall 
bell if I can come back." 

18. I had bought him a lot in Wood-lawn Cemetery, N.Y. His wife- 
wanted him buried there. We wanted to take him to our home, and bury 
him by mother. Brother was ^-ery proud, and we thouglit that the lot was. 
not as nice as he would like. 

19. When sister died Cousin Elizabeth was sick and dreamt at about the. 


lylr. R. Hoiljjsov. 

same hour some one was dead at our house, so I asked question. She lives 
In Philadelphia. Mrs. P. would not answer the question. 

20. Dr. Blodgett had to come and inject morphia into sister every few 
hours for the last few days, her pain was so great. He made me do it the 
last two days. It almost killed me to do it. I wanted to see if she knew it. 
Would not answer my question. I remember I asked a number of questions, 
but Mrs. P. would not answer. She kept saying, " I want you to know it 
is mo, Hannah Wild, Hannah Wild." 

21. Brother Fred dropped dead as soon as he reached the sidewalk after 
getting out of a street car in Chicago, 111. Hannah went on there. The 
jdoctor told her it was heart disease. 

22. Dr. and I had got married since Hannah died. Built a new liouse and 
moved into it. Took father to live with us. I wa,nted her to tell me about 
it. She seemed to think I went up and sat in her room, and I could not, as 
tlie house was rented to another family. I did have a large jDicture made of 
sister for father's Christmas present, and it hangs on the wall. Sister 
Hannah's cousin made it, and I should have thought she would have said 
something about him, as he took a new picture of her every time she 'went to 
see him. 

23. Just like sister, never missed church. It was Decoration Day, and she 
always went to the service. 

Tha next reports, which have been made by Mrs. Blodgett, with the 
.assistance of my notes taken during the sitting, and which have been 
revised by me, refer to sittings which Mrs. Blodgett requested me to 
have on her behalf, for the purpose, if jjossible, of obtaining the letter 
written by her sister. After her sitting in May, Mrs. Blodgett told 
Mrs. Piper who she was. 

SittiiKj on Aiiijiid Id, 1888. 

I sent a lock of liair which I liad cut from sister's head after her death. 
Pliinuit thought that it was not Hannali's hair, tlien that it was, ljut that 
someone had handled it. He then purported to give a copy of the letter : 
*'It's something about Hannah's early history, that letter is." "At one 
time I met a person wliom I loved. A circumstance in our affection changed 
my whole life. Had it not been for this one tiling, I sliould liave been 
married and hapjiy. Consequently I went into religious work and did all tlie 
good I could. The circumstance that niarred my happiness regarded my 
intended marriage. Whoever reads this letter after I am gone will knov/ the 
reason why I remained as Hannah Wild. Wlien I am gone I will retui'n and 
repeat word for word this letter." "It has been opened, I'm sorry to .say." 

Phinuit said that if lie had a longer piece of hair next sitting he could 
give the letter word for word. 

[Tlie fact referred to in the above dictated letter is correct. It was the 
one sorrow of sister's life. But we learn from Professor James that it was 
not wliat sister wrote in lier death-bed letter. Phinuit had ju'eviou.sly been 
told tliat tlie letter liad been examined for comparison with his first 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


Sitting on October 3rd, 1888. 

I sent Mr. Hodgson a large lock of hair, and also a tidy wliich sister Iiad 
iinislied a few days before lier death, requesting him to ask the name of my 
first husband— tlie middle name he was to be very particular about— also t(j 
ask the name of my only child, who died at the age of ten, whom Hannah 
had taken care of for years. Had names been given correctly, it would have 
«ut of!' all thought-transference as far as Mr. Hodgson was concerned. 

R. H. placing hair and tidy in Mrs. P.'s hands. P. : What is this for ? 
R. H. ■: You must tell. P. : Hannah Wild. Betsy gave vou this. Ill tell 
you all about this directly. R. H. : What was the name of Mrs. Blodgett's 
first husband ? P. : John Henry or Henry Jolni Cliiibrd. [The name 
of niy husband was John Rothmall Barr. I know a Mr. John Henry 
Clifford, and his daughter tells me that she i.s almost sure that Hannah 
had worked upon the tidy in their- house.] R. H. : What was tlie 
name of Iier boy ? P. : Willie. [The name of my child was John Blarion 
Barr.] P. : Hannah says, Ask my sister Bessie if she doesn't know wliat I 
said to her last. It's awful hard work to bring back recollections. " I said 
tins, ' It's hard work to be ill and leave your friends in the l^ody.' " 

The letter was said to be as follows : — 

"I left a great deal of my work unfinished. Could I have been able to 
.stay here longer, I should try to be of some benefit to those who were le^n- 
nig more particularly on me. There's Mr. Town has always been very, very 
kind to me. I had some talk with liim regarding matters in the church which 
nobody knows but himself and me, and a sister of his. After I liave passed 
out and returned to eartli to dictate this letter, and it is opened, please crive 
1,000 [liere Phinuit wrote 1,000 on my block-book.— R. H.] dollars for°the 
benefit of the church.— Hannah Wild." " I told my sister should I come 
back and dictate tliis letter it'll be like tiie ringing of tlie villaoe church bell " 
{Hannah never said it was hard to be ill ; neitlier did slie think it I^ard to 
die. Slie left no work unfinished. I sat by her side liour after hour and 
wrote down to whom every article she possessed sliould be given. She made 
all her own arrangements for her funeral and selected the verse for her 
funeral serm<.n. No one was leaning on her. My sister had a friend named 

Mr. Thomas F , who was kind to her and who had some talk with her on 

church matters-Hannah often called him Mr. Tom. She had worked ,.n tlie 
tidy in tlie presence of tliis gentleman and his sister. My sister made me 
promise not to give any money to the church, as they had built a new one in 
a fashionable part of tlie city and closed tlie old one where it was needed 
.She never said " Tlie village bells," but always the " City Hall bell " See 
sitting of May 30th, 1888, Note 17, p. 77. We learn from Professor James 
that tins was not tlie substance of Hannah's death-bed letter.] 

P : Hannah wants to give you a test to her sister, something that no one 
else knows, but she cannot recollect it now. [There was a test between sister 
Alice and Hannah, but I do not know what it was. The test lias never been 
given, and sister AHce has seen the accounts of our attempts to obtain com- 
munications from Hannah.] 

The next attempt to obtain the letter was in 1889, when Mrs. Blod<^ett 
and myself had two sittings, of which the following are the reports, 

80 • Mr. R. Hodgson. 

made by Mrs. Blodgett with the assistance of my notes taken during- 
the sitting, and finally revised by me. 

Sitting on Muij 2Sth, 1889. 

P. : Anna's liere. No, Hannah ! Hannah says : ' ' Bessie, you haven't 
been feeling very well of late." Mrs. B. : No. What has been the matter?' 
[No answer.] P. : What noise did you hear the night before this ? Mrs. B. r 
Rapjjing. [I had heard a rap that seemed to come on the bed the night 
before, but could get no answer from it.] P. : Hannah did that. [Here 
followed some talk about father.] 

Mrs. B. : Can you give us a cojiy of Hannah's letter this morning ?' 
P. : Hannah says that she did mention a sum <>f money to the chvu-ch. Some- 
money for tlie benefit of, for educating the children. Mrs. B. : What 
church ? [I asked what church to see if she would say the old Baj^tist or the 
new Baptist.] P. : Baptist. P. : Where's Aunt EHzabeth ? Mrs. B. : She 
ought to be in Philadelphia. You said she had passed out, the last time I 
was here. (See sitting of May 30th, 1888, pp. 76, 77, Note 19.) She had not. 
P. ; [Made some I'emark about being "confased," and returned to the- 
"letter."] Also about the doctor, when he should have changed his sur- 
roundings, if she had been with him, she would be of great assistance to him.. 
If she had stayed in the body she would have helped the brother. Mrs. 
B. : Are the words " My brother" halfway down the second page ? [I got 
an impression that they were there.] P. : Yes ; halfway down the second 
page. [Some obscurity here in the notes. Either, " Got good memory. I 
see the things over again," or, " Not a good memory. I say the same things, 
over again." — R.H.] [Hannah's memory was very good, and she was the 
encycloptedia for the whole family.] 

P. : [Fingering a "waist" wliich Mrs. B. had placed on her lap.] She- 
wore that when she was sick. She knows that. [The " waist " belonged tO' 
Hannah, who had worn it frequently, but not when she had her last sickness.] 

Mrs. B. : [Taking out an envelope containing a lock of hair and some 
writing and giving them to P.] Tell me about these. P. : Letter to her. 
It ain't written nice. [The letter was written by Hannah's niece to Hannah, 
and was written nicely. The lock of hair was from the same person.] P. : 
[Fingering the hair.] Do you know who Alice is ? This comes in connection 
with Alice. This is the mother's. Mrs. B. : Alice is the mother's name. 
P.: That hair is in the spirit. [Wrong.] 

Mrs. B. [Putting some imitation birds' eyes into P.'s hands.] Tell me 
aVjout those. P. : Eyes. Cats' eyes. Came from Euroije. Mrs. B. : Did 
they come from France ? P. : No. More German like. [A box of birds' 
eyes, from which these were taken, was a prize drawn by father in the first 
I*aris Exposition for a white crane which he had sent, about 1847 or 1848, T 
cannot recall the exact year. Hannah was very proud of them and would 
have known them at once. But she had never handled them. We were 
only allowed to look at them in a glass case.] 

Mrs. B. : [Puts a jfin into P.'s hands.] P.: Mother's influence. Got the 
little nephew here. Your mother's pin brings the nephew. He had some 
trouble with head, throat, and stomach. You gave this to her. [It was my 
mother's pin, but had been given to her by my father. My boy died of 

Ohservatioiis of CerUiin Phenomena of Trance. 


consumption.] P. : She used to have a chain witli this. Mrs. B. : Yes. I 
gave it to Alice. [A chain was sometimes worn with tlie pin.] 

Mrs. B. [Handing P. a glove and stocking belonging to her child, the 
nephew referred to, asked : ] Who is there in Heaven that I should love best ? 
P. : You ought to know. [Hannah had always kept the glove and stocking 
in the family Bible, and would have known them at once.] 

Mrs. B. [Puts a round box, from which she took an ear-spoon and eye- 
probe, in P.'s hands.] P.: Sister's influence. [Correct.] [Concerning the 
ear-spoon.] That's her ear-thing. [Fingering the probe a long time, asked 
what it was, and at last said :] That's a probe. [I had hoped to make 
Hannah say that she was very deaf — as she was — a fact never given by P.] 

P.: [Concerning a chain wliicli I put into Phinuit's hands.] Before she 
passed out she broke this chain three or four times and tied it up with 
thread. Mother's influence comes with this chain. It v/as mother's first. 
Mother gave it to her. [See sitting of May 30th, 1888, pp. 76, 77, Note 12. 
Mother gave her chain to me. I liad it cvit in half, and ga\'e one portion 
to Alice, and the other portion to Hannah. The piece belonging to Alice 
I took to my sitting of May 30th, 1888. Alice never ^core it, but Pliinuit got 
the name from it. The otlier piece was that which I gave here to Phiuuit, 
and had been worn by Hannah. It had also been broken and tied up with 
thread by Hannah in as many as three places ; by myself in two places when 
she was sick in bed. It was tied with thread when Phinuit held it.] 

Mrs. B. : Ask Hannah who was there when she wrote the letter. P. r 
You were there and another lady, not her sister, but your sister. [Some- 
confusion, but no help by Mrs. B. See below. — R. H.] 

P. : Fred's here ; says, How's Joe ? Mrs. B. : Yes ; that's my brotlier. 
[Fred was my dead brother. Joe is my only living brother.] P. : Ella in Joe's 
surroundings. [I fovmd soon after the sitting that brother Fred had a sister- 
in-law in Chicago named Helen, who is living and is often called Ella. But 
my brother Joe does not know of any such person. I did not think until 
recently (1891) of my father's cousin's children, of New York State, in con- 
nection with this communication. We played together as children, and were 
like one family. Their names were Fred, Anna, Joe, and Ella. They were 
all known to my brotlier Fred. Further, this second cousin Fred went to- 
Chicago about the year 1865, and both father and I think that we heard he- 
was drowned on the lakes. Anyway, we have not heard from him since about 
tliat time. Joe, Ella, and Anna are living.] [The cousin Fred was not 
drowned, as Mrs. B. supposed. KShe has since ascertained that he is still 
living.— R. H.] 

P. : Hannah's coming. Aunt Elizabeth is lame ; had a fall ; got 
rheumatism ; sore eyes. [Every detail incorrect, as I ha^'e since learned.} 
P. : She (Hannah) used to write for the i^apers, and she said in her letter- 
that she wanted the paper to be kept up as well as the church matters, 
[Hannah wrote many letters to Lucy Stone on Woman Suffrage. Some were- 
printed in the Woman's Journal. Hannah did say to me that I was to keep 
up that journal, but I cannot recall that .she asked me to keep up any 
church matters.] 

P. : She wrote tlie letter on a stand. You and sister Alice were 
there. She sat in a chair with big arms to it. Leant back tired. It'll 



J\fr. R. Hodgson. 

he like ringing the old clnn-cli bell. Mrs. B. : The City Hall bell. P. : Yes, 
that's it. [The account given of the writing of the • letter and the persons 
present is correct.] 

P. : Much in the letter about the doctor. Slie sjjeaks about the piece 
of land in the letter, and that's in connection with the doctor also. 
And it's four pages. P.S. — And this is all settled satisfactory to me. Sister 
Hannah. About the church, land, doctor, paper, lirother, and helping 
the doctor in change of surroundings. [My husband had bought a new piece 
of land since Hannah's death, and had built a new house and moved into it. 
But [ cannot see how Hannah could have helped him. I think she would 
have helped brother if she had lived.] [We learn from Professor James that 
the above details are not the substance of Hannah's death-bed letter.] 

Sittiiuj on May 2Wi, 1889. 

P. : Are you well ? Mrs. B. : No. I want a medical examination. P. : 
No real organic disease ; little weakness in kidney. Sometimes trouble in 
held. Mrs. B. : What is the cause of the head trouble? P. : That's because 
you're a medium. R. H. : You must be careful. Doctor, as Mrs. Blodgett's 
husband is a medical man. P. : You clear out. I won't do anything while 
you're here. [R. H. leaves the room.] Mrs. B. : [Phinuit made a thorough 
examinatifin. Said I was perfect. This is not correct.] [R. H. recalled.] 

P. : Light complexioned person, grey hair, acpiiline nose, full eye, S([uare 
face, moustache, don't see any beard, much to do with new building. Marie 
in surroundings. [Maria was the name of my husband's first wife. The 
description does not answer to my husband. I do not know anyone who 
corresponds to it.] P. : Esther also. [I dn not know an Esther, nor, as far 
*is I can ascertain, did Maria. My husband had an aunt of that name, who 
died a long time ago.] Mrs. B. : Whom does Maria wish to talk to ? P. : 
■Given name is Charles, and he's across the country. [Charles is my husband's 
first name, and Maria called him Charles. He was in Holyoke, where we 

Mrs. B. : Is Hannah Wild here to-day ? P. : No. R. H. : Tell her she 
did not give the letter correctly. P. : How do you know ? Have you read 
it? R. H. : No. James says so. [P. was angry, and said that James had 
lietter " .sharpen up his memory," &c., and finally said he would go and get 
Hannah.] [Mrs. P. came out of trance, and after a short interval became 
entranced again.] 

P. : Miss Davis — Hannah wants you to go and see her and say 
■she has a message for her. Will give it later on. [I do not know a Miss 
Davis. I know a Mrs. Davis, who was a widov/ when Hannah died. Hannah 
knew her, but was never in her house.] Mrs. B. : What was the maiden name 
of mother, and where was she born ? P. : You ought to know as well as 
Hannah. [Hannah knew mother's maiden name. She was a perfect family 
encyclopaDdia.] P. : There's something in [the letter] about motlier. 
]Mrs. B. : What happened to Hannah that Alice only knew? P. : It 
happened twice, and if it happened the third time Hannah would pass out. 
Mrs. B. : Did it happen the third time ? P. : Yes. It was about motlier. 
[Correct as far as I know. Sister Alice will nut tell yAv^t it was, as she 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 83 

promised Hannah not to. It was about mother. Sister cannot say wli ether 
it happened three times or not, as she was not present at tlie deatli <:>f Hannali, 
but I have notes of every word Hannah spoke that day.] Mrs. B. : Whom 
did you see just before you passed out "? F. : Mother. [She said slie saw 
Mary, but not mother.] P. : I say in the letter to my sisters Alice and 
Bessie, — If she could see her mother in spirit she would come back and tell 
you of her experience with her mother, also of any other friends that I may 
meet. I mention my brother also, the church, your happiness with the 
doctor, and the surroundings. [Mixture of pronouns due to Phinuit. — R. H.] 
P. : Mr. "E." is here. He says, "What is this all about ? " R. H. : 
Tell him. P. : He says you must always send Phinuit away from the medium 
to ask and then come straight back to the medium and tell you. [Tliis is the 
device that I suggested and carried out long before. — R. H.] [The results of 
this sitting were submitted to Professor James. He replied : " All this is not 
to the point. The sister's letter, as I remember it, contained none of these 

Addcndnm. {By E. H.) 

On May 27th, 1891, Dr. Blodgett had a sitting with Mrs. Piper. Mrs. 
Blodgett and myself accompanied him, but Mrs. Blodgett remained at first in 
the adjoining room. Phinuit, however (on behalf of "Bessie's father"), 
insisted upon seeing Mrs. Blodgett, and then shortly afterwards refused to 
proceed unless Dr. Blodgett and myself left the room. Hannah purported to 
be present. In the last part of the sitting Phinuit talked with Dr. Blodgett 
alone. My notes are too fragmentary to be of any value, but the main point 
is that no further attempt was made by Phinuit to give the letter, and 
apparently not the slightest reference was made to it by either Phinuit or 
any of the sitters. No other information was given that inclined IMrs. Blod- 
gett at all to believe that her sister was actually " comminiicating." At a 
sitting on May 28th, 1891, Phinuit's first statement (Mrs. Piper entranced at 
12.10 p.m.) was : " Been with Bessie. She's been writing, a few minutes 
ago." On June 1st Mrs. Blodgett writes : — 

" Phinuit was correct. I was writing my notes out of book on different 

Two days later (June 3rd) Mrs. Blodgett sent me a letter to Phinuit, 
Tvdiich I read at the beginning of a sitting on June 15th. This occasioned 
tlie following statement from Pliinuit, whicli had nothing to do with the 
letter :— 

" She's been reading a funny book. A life of somebody. She called on 
an old friend of Hannah's, somebody I told her to go and see. Hannah told 
her. Mrs. B. has a friend named Severance." 

Mrs. Blodgett writes on June 17th : — 

' ' Really he [Pliinuit] is doing wonderfully well as far as thouglit-trans- 
ference goes, but positive proof that it is not Hannah. Saturday night 
[June 13th] I gave a talk to the Young Women's Rooms about Helen Gar- 
dener's new book, Is this yonr Son, my Lord? 14th. I did not go to see the 
friend in body, but I know my mind went, and I wrote him the letter to 
ask him what Phinuit told me to do when there. You will recall lie said, I 


il/r. R.. Hodgson. 

must go and see Mr. L and tell him I ^yas so-ny I had slighted him. 

You will see by letter enclosed [dated and postmarked June loth, and 

referring to Mrs. B.'s letter of June 14t]i. — R. H.] Mr .L did not see me 

in the Senate. That was my mind. Hannah never saw Mr. L , nor, to 

my knowledge, ever heard me speak of him. He was my fi-iend in W . 

This is quite a point. I also know Hannah never heard of 'Severance.' I 
wrote him three lettei-s, just before we were married, as doctor had seen him 
and bought the enclosed jjicture at Onset. I said on the 14th how I would 
love to write him again now we were married and see if he would know it, 
or if Maria would." 

11. 0. F. Wcuhworth, 31. D., Jnm 15th, 1888. 

[Appointment made by R. H. No name given.] 

[Notes made hy R. H. during sitting.] 

This sitting was a failure, tliough one or two incidents suggested to me 
that the ' ' c: )nditions " of success wei'e present had Phinuit received any 
assurance at the beginning that he was not confused. Thus there seemed to 
be an ap^jroximation to the sitter's name in tlie first specific statement made 
by Phinuit: "Got a lady here calling Watson." And later on another 
attempt was made — JValsou . But this may have been a mere coincidence, 
as altogether more than twenty statements and names were offered, almost 
all of which were wrong. 

12. 3Irs. P. Jnhj 11th, 1888. 
[Appointments made by R. H. No name given.] 

Mrs. P. had a sitting a few weeks previously, at which I was not present, 
and no written account of it was made at the time. Much of what was said 
by Phinuit at this first sitting appeared to Mrs. P. to be vague and 
irrelevant, but her father-in-law was described and alleged to be very ill, 
as was the case. There was an approximation made to the name P. , which 
was not, however, correctly given. Among other names mentioned, to 
which Mrs. P. could attach no special significance, the name Sarah was 
given and said to be that of her mother, and it was stated that she died from 
a cancer. Tliis was true, ))ut Mrs. P. does not attribute much importance 
to this, as she afterwards heard that a similar statement was made to another 
sitter, to whom it did not apply. 

I took notes during the sitting of July 11th, at which the father-in-law, 
in the meantime deceased, was represented as appearing. His surname was 
correctly given. So also was the surname of tlie sitter's mother, but the 
sitter is not sure that she did not mentioji her mother's name at the previous 
sitting. In addition, eight Christian names were given, of wliich five (Sarah, 
Fanny, Telly, Helen, Frank) were closely connected with the sitter. The 
other three names were also approximations. John and Thornahan were 
the attemjjts to get the name of the father-in-law, Jonathan ; a lady relative 
was mentioned as having a nickname Tete, and Pete would have been 
correct ; one of the sitter's five brothers is named Edgar, and Phinuit spoke 
of an "Ed — something." No other names were given by Phinuit. Several 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


irrelevant and incorrect statements, however, were made, and a propliecy 
that the sitter was going to California the next year was not fuliilled. In 
addition, tlie sitter made experiments with two locks of hair. 

1. Had great deal of sickness — disease. Person has passed out of the body. 
Did this one have a cancer I He liad disease in stomach. Don't you 
remember the sighs he used to make '? You've got them mixed. [All wrong. 
The hair of a living person, — a lady.] 

2. This is lady's influence. She thought everything of you. I want to say 
there's a misunderstanding all round in this influence. Weakness across 
chest and right round the heart. [All wroiig. The liair of my father-in-law, 
Mr. J. P., deceased.] 

13. Mi: John F. Brown. Jane and Odohet; 1888. 

The following accounts are by Mr. John F. Brown, a meraber of our 
Society. Mr. Brown writes to me on February 20th, 1891, that he is 
fully convinced that Mrs. Piper's dealings with him have l^een false and 
fraudulent throughout. His opinion, I believe, is that Mrs. Piper pre- 
tends to go into trance, proceeds by guesswork, questioning, etc., and 
adds such information as she has been al)le to obtain ])y secret inquiry 
beforehand concerning the sitters. I understand that he attributes 
importance to the details of all his visits to Mrs. Piper, and his 
accounts are therefore given in full. 

Sitting with Mrs. Piper, June llth, 1888. 9.30 a.jfi. 

Tlie bell was answered by a voice through tlie speaking-tube. I after- 
ward recognised the voice as Mrs. Piper's. I said 1 had an appointment and 
was told to come up. Mrs. Piper met me at the door upstairs. 

Without much delay she took me into the room adjoining, seated me in a 
chair, and after looking the door between the rooms and closing the shutters 
sat down in a rocking-cliair in front of me. Said she supposed Mr. Hodgson 
had told me how to talk to her when in the trance, about asking cjuestions 
and answering what the Doctor said. I replied, "Yes, I understand I can 
ask any questions I wish to." This did not satisfy her ; said I should admit 
what the Doctor told me, if it was true ; that I should talk freely, and ansAver 
all his questions ; that hy so doing much better results would be oljtained. 
Having settled this matter, whicli slie seemed to consider of the greatest 
importance, she speedily went into the trance. 

Wlien fully under control, some Frencliy salutations were given and tlien 
the Doctor said, " Hallo I John, I'm pretty well. How are you ? " I said I 
was well also and was pleased to make his acquaintance. Soon he spoke my 
last name, getting it piecemeal and pronouncing it Bur-oun. Had some difti- 
culty witli tlie name, said it over a number of times and a.sked me two or 
three times what I called it. I said I was satisfied with what he called it and 
did not help him out. Then he gave my middle name (Fenner), but did not get 
it cpiite right, got in a d — Fedner, or something like that, and seemed to think 
it was not quite riglit and asked me what it was. He kept saying it over, 
trying to get it just right, and kept asking me wliat I called it. I said, "Let 
it go that way, that's near enough." But he persisted, and finally, thinking 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

that he knew ah-eady, for hu came as near it as he possilily coukl and miss, 
I said, " It is Fenner." "Yes, yes," he replied, "Femier, tlmt's it, Fenner.'' 
Then he spoke aljout my chiklren, said I had two pretty chiklren. I asked if 
they were boys or girls. He said one was a boy, the older one ; the younger 
he seemed to be in d(jubt about, was inclined to tliink it was a girl — asked 
nie wliich it was. I said that was for him to tell. He seemed a little pro- 
voked, and said lie couldn't tell everything and that I must answer his. 
(juestions. He asked me two or three times, and finally said in a very decided 
manner that he wouldn't say another word until I answered the question. I 
tliought for a moment that the sitting was at an end and also my accpiaintance 
with Dr. Phinuit. I wasted no words, however, and showed no irritation, 
but very quietly told him to tell me what he could and let the rest go. By 
this time he had about concluded (supjoosing he did not already know, and I 
have no special reason for thinking that he did) that the child was a boy, said 
it looked like a girl (lie had already sj^oken of it as a baby) but that it might 
be a boy. 

There was something, however, that looked very much like finessing. I 
rode to Boston on my wheel, wearing long stockings and knee breeches. 
Mrs. Piper said she took it I dissipated on the bicycle. I said. Yes, I had 
been riding, and some remarks were made about bicycle riding. Dr. Phinuit 
took hold (_)f my breeches at the knee and asked what I wore those for. I 
said, "I must wear something." "Yes, but what for you wear those?" 
" They look pretty, don't they V " Oh, I am not joking, I am in earnest. 
Why don't you wear the long ones ? " Then I tried to make him tell, but he 
would not and said no more about it. The Doctor did not give up trying to 
pump nie, but, liaving resolved beforehand to resist all such attempts as 
irregular and uncalled for, his efforts were in vain. At one time he said I 
must be frank and not try to mislead him, that I could put him on the wrong- 
track if I wished. I assured him I would not be guilty of anything of that 
kind, and I certainly was not. 

Again, he declared he was going to thrash me. I laughed and said it 
took considei'able of a man to do that. He said he could do it. I asked 
why he proposed to thrasli me. Instantly came the answer, sharp and 
decided, "Don't you say [/;//( to me any more ; you say, Yes, sir." Then 
he said he was coming to see me at my house. I told him to come along, 
I should l^e pleased to see him, and I wouldn't thrash him either, I didn't 
thrash spirits. He said I was wise not to try it. 

He gave the name Edward for the older child, which is altogether wrong. 
The name of the younger he did not give. The medium put her hand on 
her chest, rubbing it up and down, and Phinuit said there was or had been 
something the matter with one of the children. I asked which one. Said 
he thought it was the younger, that he would get all over it and that they 
v/ould both grow up and be strong and healthy. Said they were fine 
children and things of that sort. I asked if there were any more. He 
said. No. Would there be any more 1 Said he seemed to see another — 
a girl — but that had not come yet. 

By-and-liye he spoke the name Fannie. I said, " Who is Fannie 1 " At 
first he couldn't tell, but finally said it was Edward's mother. He called me 
a funny fellow, but did not explain in what way, and I couldn't get it out of 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 87 

him, " Oh, what a fine dog I " Said it was mine, and then asked me if it was 
mine. I didn't say whether I ever owned a dog or not. Said dogs liked me, 
I asked if folks liked me as well as dogs. He didn't answer tlie question very 
directly, but said I didn't make very many intimate friends, but I was a good 
man. Spoke of the girls I had been intimate with and said I had had a good 
many " escapades." Gave the names of two girls that I had thought a great 
deal of. One was Louie, who was very congenial. We were very fond of each 
other. I asked why I did not marry Louie. The answer was, " Because 
you were crazy, cranky." Felt of the top of my head and said I had lost a 
good deal of hair, but that he could have saved it seven or eight years ago. 
I asked how, and he mentioned some remedy which I do not remember, and 
said that would stop it from coming out any more. Felt of my fingers and 
asked if I did not come near losing one some years ago. Felt of the bones 
and joints as if trying to make out which finger it was. Asked me w hich it 
was and if I had not had some such injury. I said merely that I had had 
some injury to my fingers, and he went no further. Said that years ago I 
had been bathing with a friend who came near being drowned ; tried to give 
the person's name and asked me what it was. I said I used to go bathing 
sometimes and asked the Doctor the name of tlie person to whom lie refei'red. 
Then he gave the name of a white-haired gentleman who knew me, and said 
this gentleman knew the name of the friend who came near drowning. 
Several other names were given. I did not recognise any such persons, but 
did not say whether I did or not. He told me I was going to make a change 
in business within four months. I asked what sort of a change it would be, 
but could not find out. When the opportunity presented itself, I was tO' 
take it without hesitation — the change would be greatly to my advantage. 
Said I had been making some investments tliat had turned out well. The 
Doctor questioned me closely about this, but nothing further was elicited. 

After a time the Doctor said he was going away, but if I had any questions 
to ask I could do so. I said he had told me enough for once and asked if he 
would come and see me again. Yes, he would. I asked if he would see my 
friends in the spirit, talk with them and tell me all about myself and family 
when I came again. Yes, he would. " Au revoir." " Good-bye," and the 
medium twisted, groaned and grated her teeth just as she did when going 
into the trance, then stared about wildly and appeared to be coming to her- 
self. She seemed surprised to see me and said, "Are you here ? I didn't 
know you were here." She acted bewildered for a moment and in answer to 
my question said she felt dizzy. She asked if the sitting had been satis- 
factory. I replied that she had told me a good many tilings, but that I had 
nothing with whicli to compare it, never having sat before v/ith the same 
kind of medium. Said she thought it very desirable for sitters to have seen 
other mediums, and that she would like to know if there wasn't someone 
else who could do " this " and relieve her. 

When in the trance Mrs. Piper talked in a gruff, masculine voice, very 
different from her own, and the Doctor's identity was well sustained 
throughout. Everything connected with the trance seemed very natural, 
excepting her surj^rise and bevrilderment -when coming out. It seemed to 
me that there was some assumption about this, but it may have been just as 
genuine as the rest. 


Mr. R. Hod(json. 

Second call oii, Mrs. riper, Jane 12Ui, 1888. 9.30 c(.m. 

I was a few minutes late, having let tlie car I wanted pass by and then 
having to wait a long time for another. I touched the electric knob and a 
voice came through the speaking tube. The voice I recognised immediately 
iis Mrs. Piper's. I said : "I have another ajjpointment with you, and will 
come up." Hearing nothing more, I went upstairs, and waited at the door. 
No one came, and I was thinking of knocking when the door opened and the 
Swedish servant-girl let mo in. It was just ten minutes past the appointed 
time when I sat down in the parlour. After waiting five minutes or more 
Mrs. Pij^er came in. I said " Good morning," and she asked if I had come 
for a sitting for that hour. I said I had. She did not speak as though I had 
already told her I h;i,d come for a sitting, but acted as though she would have 
me think she had liad no jjrevious conversation with ]ne that day, and that it 
■was the girl who had answered my call. She seemed to be in no hurry what- 
ever, and I got the idea that she had no engagement for the hour following. 

I could hear a noise as of water falling upon tin. She called my attention 
to it after she had been in the room a few minutes and said a man was 
coming to fix the faucet in the bathroom, that the water had been running all 
the morning and made her nervous, as she feared an overflow. Said she 
hoped the man would not disturb us. She went out to look at the running- 
water, saying she was afraid it would overfiow, and it was 9.50 when we went 
into the seance-room. She did not get on well, the noise troubled her, said 
it made her nervous. She went out again, but apparently did nothing to 
deaden the sovnid, though a sponge or cloth would have stopped it. The 
noise of washing dishes also disturbed her, and she left the room again to 
sjDeak to the girl and see that the door into the kitchen was closed. 

By this time it must have been about ten o'clock. She now spoke for the 
first time of another sitter who was coming at 10.30, a business man who 
couldn't afford to lose any time. She said she would leave a note for him ; that 
she sometimes had to do this when the jirevious sitter was late, as though 
trying to lay the blame on me. She put a note on the sofa in the parlour 
and came back and tried again, but without success. Then she asked me if I 
would wait and let her try first with the gentleman who was coming, saying 
if she could succeed with him she probably could with me afterwards. I 
agreed to this, and we went into the parlour, the note being removed. She 
didn't stop in the ]>,irlour, ljut went off through tlie hall and talked with the 
girl, leaving tlie hall do(.)r open. At first I could not heai' what was said, then 
Mrs. Piper spoke up (piite loudly, so I eould hear eveiy word. It's some- 
thing about the faucet. The leather is worn (jr something like that. Soon 
the gentleman came, and she explained tlie situation and took him into the 
seance-room, leaving me in the parlour. She came back and said if she 
succeeded in going into the trance she would ask Phinuit what the trouble 
was before, if it was anything about me, though she was sure that was not it. 

She had no better success than before and soon gave it up, the gentleman 
leaving immediately. She asked if I wished to nr.ike another engagement. 
I said I could not then, and went away. 

Mr. Brown writes on Juno 20th, 1888 :— 
I wrote to my wife, who is away (without giving any details of my 

Observations of Certain Phenomena, of Trance. 


sittings), and asked her to send nie a statement of what Mrs. Piper told lier 
about ourselves and the boys, in order to compare it with what I got. In 
reply she sends me a full account of her sitting, which she says was already 
nearly written. This I include also. [I do not know whether I received this 
or not, but I cannot find it among my documents. — R. H.] 

In regard to Mrs. Piper, I have the secret of her jxiwer. That is, I have 
a good deal of confidence tliat such is the case, and am anxious to have my 
theory tested in such a manner as to be either proved true or shown to be 
false. I think she proceeds by guesswork, in whicli she is materially assisted 
by the conversation of the sitters, this conversation being to a considerable 
extent guided and controlled by herself. So far as pure guesswork goes, do 
not think she shows any great skill, that there are others wlio can do this 
much more scientifically and successfully, and that her skill lies chiefly in 
getting the help of the sitter, who points out the v/ay she is to travel in a 
manner analogous to that in whicli Bishop's subjects lead him to the hidden 

When Mrs. Brown told me about her sitting I resolved that when I 
sat the Doctor should get no information from me as to the truth or 
falsity of what he told me. This I pretty consistently carried out, though I 
asked many questions and was as frank and open as possible. Now, what 
was the result ? Leaving out of account such statements as these : that dogs 
liked ine, that I don't make as many intimate friends as some, but am a 
good fellow all the same, and that one of my boys has had a Ijad cold, she 
told me absolutely nothing that is true except the following facts : My name 
in full, John Fenner Brown ; my wife's first name, Fannie ; that we have 
two children, the elder being a boy. 

You will remember that when we were in your room, May 9th (it is 
referred to in Mrs. B.'s report), Mrs. Piper came in. The sitting vfith 
Mrs. Brown had just taken place. Mrs. Piper would naturally guess who I 
was, and the fact of finding us there would make her exiject a call from me 
and be on the look out for it. Referring to Mrs. B.'s report, we find Dr. 
Phinuit's knowledge at the conclusion of this sitting, and in relation to the 
above-mentioned facts, to be as follows : My name in full, John Fenner 
Brown ; my wife's first name Fannie ; that we have two boys ; the name of 
the younger — the correspondence is startling. 

What I wrote to my wife was that I had had a sitting with Mrs. Piper 
and that she had told me nothing except what she already knew or could 
guess. This can be verified, for Mrs. B. will have the letter. I also said I 
was going to give the medium a surprise party the following morning (June 
12th), and that I would not be received with open arms. It certainly turned 
•jut as I anticipated. Quelling all suspicion about the leaky faucet, the fact 
remains that Mrs. Piper wanted to get rid of me. She showed it just as 

plainly as did the slate-writer. In fact, her manner tallied exactly v/ith 

that of the other medians I have met. They all do fairly well for me at first 
(doesn't this go to show that there is no trouble with me ?) and then their 
jjowers are on the wane. 

Sitting jvith 31rs. Piper, Oct<iler 20th, 1888. 
I rang the bell at 9.25. Mrs. Piper, I am quite sure, answered the call. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

I said, " I had an appointiuont for 9.30," and was told to come up. A girl 
met me at the door upstair.?. Mrs. P. came in almost immediately. Her 
greeting was by no means cordial, and she seemed to be ill at ease, though, 
trying hard, and with pretty good success, to conceal her embarrassment.. 
She asked if Mr. Hodgson made the appointment for me, and if I had not 
had one sitting and failed a second time owing to her nervousness. I 
answered "Yes" to these questions, which were evidently not asked for the 
XJurpose of getting information. 

Soon she commenced talking about peojile who mistrusted her, who 
had no faith in the manifestations. Said they made her nervous, and she 
wished they wouldn't come ; that slie was foolish to mind it so, but she 
couldn't help it, slie was so very sensitive. She talked in tliis strain for some 
time, there being nothing personal in her remarks, except by inference. At 
length I said: "You don't think I mistrust you, do you?" "Yes," she 
re^jlied, " I know you do." Then she spoke freely, said I had no faith in her 
or the manifestations, and that I thouglit slie did not wish to sit for me. She 
spoke of the leaking faucet mentioned in my last report. Said that when slie 
told me of it I showed by niy looks that I did not believe it. I said I did 
not doubt the faucet leaked. " Yes," she replied, "but you thought it was 
a pretext to get rid of you." I could not deny this, nor would it have been 
of any use to have done so, for she evidently knew how I felt about it. She 
said it was a misfortune to be a medium, and spoke in general terms of the 
insults to which slie had been subjected. It did not occur to me to ask if 
she thought I had misused her in any way, but I did ask if she thought 
I had attempted to mislead Dr. Phinuit. She did not give a direct 
answer, but appeared to think that perhaps I had done so. I assured 
lier that such was not the case, and that I did not think there was anything 
in my attitude that ought to ]jrevent a satisfactory sitting. Ever since she 
first spoke of i:)eople who mistrusted lier she had been in a very nervous and 
excited condition. But slie gradually became calmer. She said she was 
afraid I W(.)uld nut like to have her talk so freely, but she was so very sensi- 
tive she couldn't stand it, and must speak out to relieve herself. I told her 
that was right, she couldn't talk any too freely to suit me. 

About 9.55 she announced that she was ready, acting as thougli she hated 
to sit, but as though for some reason, not altogether apparent, she must do 
so, and was resigned to the inevitable. She took my hands pretty soon after 
we were seated, and almost immediately I became aware that she was going 
into the trance. Her nervousness seemed to be all gone, and it took but a 
very short time. 

Dr. Phinuit called me by n:xme, John, and said he had talked with my 
friends who had passed over and had learned a good deal about me. Three 
or four of my friends were present — a grandfather, a brother, and an uncle. 
The name Edward was given (see account of first sitting) and I was asked if 
that was tlie name of the brother. I said, Not exactly. This was as near as 
the Doctor could get it, and he asked me what the name was. I said, Edgar. 
Then Phinuit saw an elderly man witli "these" (stroking my beard) on his 
face. He had trouble with his stomach, had dyspepsia. [True.] I asked 
who he was. P. : My father. B. : Living or dead ? P. : Living. B. : What 
is his middle name ? The Doct(.)r could not tell. I was told to ask questions 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


if I wished to, and I said: "Tell me about my brothers and sistei's, if I 
have any," and intimating more by my tones than by what was said, that I 
had brothers but no sisters. (This I did inadvertently. Throughout tli& 
sitting I answered all the Doctor's questions and asked a good many myself,, 
but was in general careful not to make my questions leading, or no more so 
than could be helped.) Phinuit laughed and said he wasn't going to tell m& 
about what I hadn't, but about what I had. And I said, "Tell me about my 
brothers, then." He replied that there were five of us, four living and one 
dead, which is correct. I had already in eflect admitted that I had brothers 
and a brother not living, but, so far as I am aware, this is all tliat could b& 
gathered from what I had said. 

The medium rubbed her hands over mine, felt of my fingers, and then the 
Doctor said he saw wheels, wheels all over me. I waited a moment to see 
what was coming, but as usual during this sitting nothing came until I asked 
for it. I said, " Wliat kind of wheels ? " And then, in a moment : " Large 
ones or small ones ? " The answer was : " Oh, big ones, great big ones, with 
crooked things in tliem. What you call them ? S^Dokes?" I asked what they 
were used for. The Doctor said for machinery, but didn't seem to know for 
what kind of machinery until I asked the direct question, and then he said, 
hesitatingly at then with confidence, "Steam engines." Then lie saw an 
office where writing was being done ; the elderly man was there and I was 
there. Business was to be good for the next year and I need not worry about 
that account tliat had been ti-oubling me — that would come out all right. Thc^ 
names Fannie and Mira (Meera) (see Mrs. B.'s report of her sitting) were 
given. Fannie was the mother of my boys. Tliere was some difficulty in 
finding out who Mira was, and it was finally given up after some apparent 
guesses had been made. 

I was told to ask questions if I wished, and I said, ' ' Who is Horace 
Brown?" The answer came immediately, "He is your uncle" — the uncle 
who was there, and whose presence I had forgotten till thus reminded of it. 
I said, " How about his son ?" What followed I consider quite interesting 
and remarkable, though by no means a good test of the alleged supernormal 
power. So far as I am aware the medium knew nothing about Horace Brown 
or his son, certainly they had never been mentioned by me. My question 
would aflbrd a professional guesser the opportunity to get in some pretty 
good work, but there was no appearance of guesswork. Nothing was said tO' 
draw me out in the slightest degree — unless it was to make me ask questions. 
The replies were not given in a hesitating and half-questioning tone, so that 
I could deny or correct, or the speaker readily change them if occasion 
required ; they were plumped out in the most positive and decided manner, 
and, so far as my knowledge extends, with but one partial exception, were 
exactly right. 

My last question was answered like this: "Oh, he's alive." Then, without 
anything being said by me, it was added that he left home some time ago. 
Afterwards it was said a good many years ago, though this may have come 
from me ; that he had been about a good deal and had been at sea. This also 
(and what follows, unless otherwise stated) without help from me. That when 
he left home he was single, but now was married and living in Southern 
California. I asked why he left home. Because he was uneasy and of a 


Mr. R. Hodgson, 

roving disposition. Why didn't lie write to his folks ? There was no 
particular reason ; it never occurred to him to do so. Phinuit said he 
couldn't tell just where in Southern California he was (this without 
questioning by me), but that he could find out. I told him to do so. Said 
he couldn't theia, I would have to come again for that. (Finessing ?) He 
gave the name of the son as Charles (in reply to my (juestion) and said I 
would hear from him soon, within a year, I think. The best way to get a 
good sitting, Phinuit said, was to have him talk with my departed friends 
and then see me within three or four days. 

There was nothing further of interest, nor wliich I can recall. Phinuit 
said if I had anything more to ask about I must do it soon, Init I tuld him 
there was nothing more, bade him good-bye, and he took his depaiture. 
When the medium was coming to, she saw snakes on my hands and kindly 
pulled them off. She complained of being pricked on the hand, said, "Don't 
prick me so," or something like that, and after she was entirely herself asked 
me two or three times if I had pricked her. I assured her that I had not. 
She asked if I got anything, and I told her she did very well, much better 
than she did the first t'nm. This seemed to please her greatly. As I was 
going out, I said, "You have done so well to-day, if I should come again, you 
v/ouldn't feel towards me as you have this time, would you ? " She shrugged 
her shoulders, said, "I don't know," and mumbled something further which I 
<;ouId not catch. 

John F. Brown. 

14. Mr. "()." December 2dth, 1888. 

This sitting was a failure. At the close of it Phinuit said that he thought 
he had been getting the influence of the previous sitter, and was anxious to 
try another sitting. We arranged for another sitting for the following day, 
but Mrs. Piper's illness then prevented our having it, and Mr. "Q." was 
unable to stay in Boston any longer. Mr. "Q. ' writes on September 11th, 
1890. — "I return the notes of the conversation with Mrs. Piper. At the 
time of the sitting my general iniiDression Avas unfavourable ; the answers. 
At any rate, were irrelevant and inaccurate in everything except as to those 
which might have been inferences from my personal appearance." 

15. 3Ir. Boherhoii Jame^i. Murdi Wi, 1889. 

5, Boylston-place, Marclt Gtli,, 1889. 1p.m. 

Mr. Robertson James has just called here on return from a sitting with 
]Mrs. P., during which he was informed by Mrs. P. — entranced — that "Aunt 
Kate" had died about 2 or 2.30 in the morning. Aunt Kate was also 
referred to as Mrs. Walsh. 

Mrs. Walsh has been ill for some time and has Ijeen expected during the 
last few days to die at any hour. This is written before any desj^atch has 
been received informing of the death, in presence of the following : — 

Richard Hodgson. 
Wm. James. 
Robertson James. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


On reaching home an hour later I found a telegram as follows : — " Aunt 
Kate passed away a few minutes after midnight. — E. R. Walsh." 

(Signed) Wm. James. 

Mrs. William James, wlio, accompanied Mr. Robertson James to the 
sitting on March 6tli, writes as follows : — 

18, Garden -street, Cambridge, March 28th, 1889. 
Concerning the sitting mentioned above on March 6th, I may add that 
the "control" said, when mentioning that Aunt K.ite had died, that 1 
would tind " a letter or telegram " when I got home, saying she was gone. 

Alice H. James. 

Jiihi, 1890. 

It may be worth while to add that early at this sitting I inquired, " How 
is Aunt Kate ? " The reply was, " She is poorly." This reply disappointed 
me, from its baldne-ss. Nothing more was said about Aunt Kate till towards 
the close of the sitting, when I again said, " Can you tell me nothing more 
about Aunt Kate 1 " The medium suddenly threw back her head and said 
in a startled way, " Why, Aunt Kate's here. All around me I hear voices 
saying, ' Aunt Kate has come. ' " Then followed the announcement that 
she had died very early that morning, and on being pres.sed to give the time, 
shortly after two was named. 

A. H. J. 

16. B. Hodgson. November 7th, 1889. 
[From a letter written to Professor W. James on the day of tlie sitting.] 

Mrs. D. and I had sitting to-day at Arlington Heights, and the usurpa- 
tion by " Kate Walsh " was extraordinaiy. She (Mrs. PiiJer) had got hold 
of my hands, and I liad to make a few fragmentary notes afterwards of the 
remarks, themselves fragmentary, wliich she made. The personality seemed 
very intense, and .spoke in effortful whispers. 

"William — William — God bless you." (Who are you?) — "Kate — 
Walsh " — (I know you.) " Help me — help me — " [Taking my right hand 
with her right, and passing it to her left and making me take hold of her 
left hand.] " That hand's dead — dead — this one's alive " [i.e., the right] — 
" help me." The left hand appeared to be at a decidedly lower temperatvu^e 
than the right. It was cooler than either of my hands, while the right liand 
was warmer than either of my hands. 

" I'm alive — I'm alive — Albert's coming over soon. He can't stay — poor 
boy — poor boy — Albert — Albert — Alfred — Albert — I know you — Alice — ■ 
Alice — William — Alice — " (Yes, I know. I'll tell them. You remember 
me. I stayed with you in New York.) " Yes — I know. But, oli, I can't 
remember. I'm so cold — I'm so cold. Gh, lielp me — help me " — [making 
tremulous movements of hands]. (I know. I'll tell tliem. You remember 
me; my name's Hodgson.) "Yes. Mr. Hudgson. Where are the girls? 
Yes. You had fish for breakfast on the second day, didn't you ? " (I don't 
remember very well.) "And the tea — who was it spilt the cup of tea ? Was 
it you or William 1" [I think I remember something about the tea, but not 
very clearly.] " You were in the corner room — bedroom — upstairs. Were 

Mr. R. Hodgson. 

you cold ? Then there was some lilaiicmange — you didn't like that. No. 
It was cream — Bavarian cream. Albert — poor boy ; he's coming soon. 
William " — [s(jmething about arranging tlie property]. " William — God 
Hess him." 

The above Avas much less tlian was really said. But that was the sort of 
"thing, and nothing a la mode Phinuit at all. It was the most strikingly 
personal thing I have seen. I recollect having fish for some meal, and recall 
that some remarks were made about it at the time. I recall very clearly that 
Mrs. Walsh made tea more than once for my special benefit, and I seem to 
remember something about the spilling of a cup of tea, but cannot be sure. 
I don't know whether my rooni was called corner or not. It was an end 
Toom, but was in front of the house. There was a little stumbling over the 
name, which appeared to be Albert. I don't recall anything about the 
blancmange or cream stuft', but I have little taste for that kind of dish. 

Co)i,cerning sitting of November *ith,oiul '■^ Kate WahJi," Control. 

Professor James says, in letter of Novemlier 10th, 1889 : — 

"The 'Kate Walsh' freak is very interesting. The first mention of lier 
by Phinuit was when she was living, three ye;irs or more ago, when slie had 
written to my wife imploring her not to sit for development. Phinuit knew 
this in some incomprehensible way. A year later [in a sitting] with Margaret 
Gibbens [sister of Mrs. James], I present, Phinuit alluded jocosely to this 
fear of hers again, and made some derisive remarks about her unhappy 
marriage, calling her an ' old crank,' &c. Her death was announced last 
spring, as you remember. In September, sitting with me and my wife, Mrs. 
Piper wa3 suddenly ' controlled ' by her spirit, who spoke directly with 
much imjjressiveness of manner, and great similarity of temf)erament to 
herself. Platitudes. She said Henry Wyckoft' had exjjerienced a change, 
and that Albert was coming over soon ; nothing definite about either. Queer 
business I " 

[From Miss E. R. Walsh.] 

2.58, Fourth Avenue, December 1st, 1889. 

My Dear William, — In reply to the questions you ask apropos of Mr. 
Hodgson's "sitting": 

Poor Aunt Kate's rigid side was the one affected by the paralysis. She 
bad the use of her left hand and arm until near the end. I have no recol- 
lection of hearing of any such incidents as the "spilling of tea," &c. ; but I 
thought if anything of the kind had occurred, Margaret, in Forty-fourth- 
street, would be likely to remember it, so, when I was there to-day to ask 
after Cousin H. [Henry Wyckoff], I questioned M., but with absolutely no 
confirmatory result. 

The partial coincidence of tlie following facts with the statements made 
to you and your wife comes a little nearer to the mark. The last week in 
August Cousin Henry did have a very severe convulsion, lasting many 
hours, from wliich the doctors thought he could hardly rally. An hour 
before, one of the nurses, in helping move him, knocked under accident- 
ally the folding support on one side of the cot on which he lay, and the 
poor man slipped almost to the floor. He did not really fall, and was not 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


at all injured, but the nervous sliock brought on the convulsion. Wonderful 
to say, he cauie out of it entirely, and for several days after his brain seemed 
much more active ; he made constant and excited efforts to speak, and it 
seemed as though some great change might take place in his condition. 
This happened in Mrs. GrifStt's stay with him. By the time we came to 
Forty-fourth-street, in September, he Iiad subsided to a great extent, and 
then, in a week or two more, began a gradual failure, which has been going 
on by the slowest degrees ever since. Now he can't even lift what they call 
Lis "good hand" outside the bed covering without help. They think, 
however, he may live months as he is. What a death in life ! Poor man, to 
liave such an end to liis harmless life. Again, Albert did intermit his visits 
for seven weeks or more, from the middle of August to early in October, 
being detained at home by a severe attack of bronchitis, and when he first 
reappeared one of the nurses said he looked more like dying than his 
uncle. Since then, however, he has (piite recovered, and starts for 
Oalifornia on the 18th. 

Elizabeth Robertson Walsh. 

17. Fniidan. Veith. Septeinher 22/w/, 1889. 

This sitting was held at the summer residence of Professor James 
in the White Mountains, Fraulein Veith being a governess in the 
family of Professor James, and Mrs. Piper had been several days in the 
house. Miss Gibbsas and R. Hodgson were also present at the sitting, 
the latter taking notes. 

Phinuit wrongly mentioned the sitter's father as being "in sjjirit." To 
the sitter's inquiry about her sisters he gave the names Mary [coi-rect] and 
Marna [Martha ?], and said that there were two otliers [correct], who were 
.afterwards named as Edith and Janet [instead of Ida and Anna], The 
name Edith was written as tliat of a sister who died, and the tliroat was 
indicated as cause of death. Ida died of croup. She was said to have a 
brother in spirit, afterwards that Frith was brother, then that she had two 
larothers, the second one also dead. She had two brothers deceased named 
Fritz and Julius. Later on the name Juli — Julus was given without any 
further statement about it. Some reference was made to a " father's 
brother," as an old gentleman who left some property unsettled, and who 
had a son, and afterwards to an uncle Charles. The statement made about 
the " father's brother " would have fitted an intimate friend of the sitter's 
father, named Karl. J oseph was correctly described as uncle, and ' ' full of 
fun." The name Katrine, given by Phinuit early in the sitting, was later 
on said to be Adeline, " in the body " and " across the water." The sitter 
bad a special friend named Adelheid, who was much in the house in 
Germany. The only other name given was Emmeline, the sitter's name 
being Emilie. Phinuit mide further two or three mistakes about incidents, 
and seemed much confused by the nxmss, saying that the sitter's friends 
were talking German to him, and he could not understand them. Following 
the sitter's remark that she had "a sore eye," Phinuit said, "There's a 


Mr. 11. Hodgson. 

little poison there. Something stung you there." This circumstance was- 
known previously to Mrs. Piper. 

Towards the close of the sitting Professor James comes in behind Mrs. 
P. and says, "Mrs. Piper, raise your left arm." Repeated. " Raise your 
right arm," &c., &c. Professor James then seizes the right arm of Mrs. P. 
and moves it slightly, with effect that Dr. P. "calls after the toucher,"' 
saying, "Who the devil is it touching me ? " 

18. Mr. " A. r.," Bodon. 
To Professor W. James. 

June 13th, 1886. 

My Dear Sir, — I have tliis evening received your favour dated the 

I have made only two visits to Mrs. Piper. I have had two other 
appointments, hut in tlie one case I v/as too ill to attend, and in the other 
tlie weather was rainy, and therefore " tlie c auditions" (whatever that may 
signify) were unfavourable. 

At the first interview several remarkable phenomena occurred. 
Although I was introduced by another name, my true name was early 
given and some incidents of my life stated, wliich by no conceivable way 
c juld have been known to the medium, even if she had known who I was. 
The persons seeking communication with me were described by name and 
by person, with much particularity, and the inquiries made were such as. 
they would have made if in consciovis comniunicaticm with me. I was told 
that I was about to make a journey to a distant part of the country, which I 
had no intention to make, and wliich, indeed, had never been in my 
mind, but whicli soon afterwards it became necessary for me to make, and 
I did make it. One thing j^roininent at this interview and very unusual, 
s _) far as I know, was the concurrent descrijjtions of persons in life and in 
tlie otlier world and their relations t(3 each otlier. For example : It was- 
Slid to me that tliere was an elderly gentleman in the si^ii'it-world, who- 
was very desirous of speaking with me, and a full description of his person, 
and of his occupation, while in this life, was given, also a like description 
of an elderly lady, as to her person, and what slie was at that moment 
doing. After a moment it was said that the lady is in tlie Hesh, and that 
the gentleman was her husband, and in the sinrit-world, and tlitit he 
v.'ished me to give his love to lier. A moment later I was told tliat I am 
his son-in-law, which is correct, as all of the other circumstances were. 
At this first intei'view I do not remember that there was one thing 
incorrect, but some statements were more vague than others, and this- 
seemed not only to be known but to be accounted for in this way, namely, 
that the communicators had less jjower with tlie medium than wcjuld be 
tlie case after some further experience, but that there would be an increase 
of power with a repetiti(->n of attempts. 

The second interview was, on the whole, less satisfactory. The medium 
seemed less composed, there was more of her own personality in the inter- 
view, and a certain something akin to anxiety to make it a success. New 
persons appeared, and inquiries by them anxiou.sly made concerning what I 
knew of a certain person named, who was stated to be very ill, fatally so. 

Observatio7i8 of Certain Phenomena of T ranee. 

and wlio is thus ill, though the fact was not then known to me. Mucli 
conversation similar to that of tlis first interview was had, some things of a 
jjurely jjrivate nature were correctly told ; among otliers the pet name in 
German by which I was accustomed to address my wife when living and we 
were alone together. But most of the incidents of this second interview 
were semi-psychical or circumstantial, rather than supernal or sj^irituah 
There was little that was erroneous, though there was some, but it was for 
the most [part ?] secondary and unimportant. . . . [A. Y. ] 

19. Miss Mary A. T., Boston, May 2ist [1886]. 

Miss T. visited Mrs. Piper about May 21st, 1886, as on that date she 
wrote to Professor James, giving him an account of the sitting. It was -a 
complete failure. 

20. Mi: E. D. 6'., Boston. 

[My wife's cousin's widower — got admirable tests. (W. J.)] 

My Dea'k James, — The communication I had through Mrs. Piper was of 
such a nature that I should hardly like to put it on paper. I will say, how- 
ever, that I went there totally unknown to her, and the names she called and 
the facts she spoke of, known only to myself and those who are no longer 
here, astonished me beyond measure, for I had never before visited a medium 
or seen anything of the kind. Some time I should like to talk witli you 
about it. — Very truly youi-s, 

E. D. C. 

Boston, Jnur litlt, 1886. 

Not till after the sitting, and just before leaving the house, did T let lier 
know that I was acquainted v/ith you and Mrs. M. 

'• 21. 3Ir. Barrett WcnJeU, Boston, Mass. 

18, Gray's, May 2(itli [1886]. 

Dear Mr. James, — My sitting with Mrs. Piper was rather interesting. 
In the course of it, I had what purjjorted to be comniunications from a. 
number of people, viz., 1, S. [surname correctly given]; 2, my uncle C 
[Christian name correctly given]; 3, "Ellie,"whom I half identified; 4, 
E. [surname correctly given], who bade me say that he meant to com- 
municate with you l)ef ore long ; 5, one Alvin Clark, who bade me "thank 
Dr. Everett for the beautiful prayer he made at my funeral." 

Certain curious circumstances attended one or two of the communications,, 
and Mrs. Piper's recovery from the trance state was, perhaps, the most- 
shocking sight I ever witnessed. 

I have no question of her honesty ; and not a shadow of belief in anytliing- 
supernatural. Mind-reading .she undoubtedly accomplished to some extent. 
By the way, is not this mind-reading a rudimentary survival of the metliods. 
of communication of lower animals — birds, fishes, horses, etc., &c., mucli 
dimmed in ordinary men by the— in every sense— improved development of 
communication l)y language ? 

Barrett Wendell. 



Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Mr. Wendell ailils, in a letter of June 21,st, 1890 ■ 

Neither 0. C. Everett nor William Everett — the only "Dr. Everett" I 
know anything about — liad ever made a prayer at any Alvin Clark's funeral, 
or at least they personally assured me that they had not. Alvin Clark, the 
well-known manufacturer of telescopic lenses, was still alive at the time of 
my sitting, which I think was in 188(j ; it could not have been later. 

The "curious circumstances" mentioned in my second paragraph were 
these. During tlie sitting Mrs. Piper was constantly moving, sometimes 
writhing, and frequently uttering inarticulate sounds. In her writhing she 
frequently clutched her thiNjat witli both hands ; this reminded me of the 
curious aft'ection of the throat — a very large external swelling — of which my 
friend E. (4) had died within a few weeks. Thus he came into my head ; 
witliin a lialf hour or so she had tolerably described and distinctly named 
him. A similar jilienomenon preceded the naming of my uncle (2) ; her 
inarticulate utterances took a fijrm that reminded me strongly of tlie gasping 
which I liad heard him utter during tlie interval of nearly a day wliich 
elapsed between a stroke of apoplexy and liis deatli. Once in my Iiead, she 
named liim before long. 

22. Mr. X. (A Stidnit o/ miic, W. .J.) M<i;i lllh, 1889. 
Tliis sitting was practically a complete failure. 

23. a ir. F., M.D. r,oL-IJe,ire, E. I., May 17th, 1889. ' V 
Pkofessou Wjr. J asfes. 

My Dear Sir, — As I am interested, as an outsider, in the wnrk of the 
8.P.R., and have called its attention, through Mr. Hodgson, to a few cases 
of interest, I Avisli to ask you if any endeavour has been made to prove the 
identity of Mrs. Piper's "control" — Dr. Phinuit ? Mr. Hodgson kindly 
arranged a seance for me with lier in Januaiy, .and I have had two others 
.since that date. All have l)een interesting, and rather force me to believe 
tiiat Dr. P. is not a fictitious personage. Von Hartmann says, " If the si^irits 
jire unable to act without a living medium, if they have need of its un- 
conscious will for their mediation, we may as well content ourselves with 
this unconscious will as a cause." I fail to be satisfied with this hypothesis, 
because some interesting disclosures Iiave come from mediums not in an 
unconscious state. 

Dr. P. has partially forgotten his French, so far as speaking it goes, yet 
I am convinced that he understands all I say in that language, and that 
Mrs. I', does not, from my tests of her capacity, and she impresses me as 
being a truly honest woman. 

I will hei'e give some of my questions to Dr. P. and Ids replies : — Q. : 
' ' What medical men were prominent in Paris in your time ? " ^4 . ; " P)Ovivier 
^md Dupuytren, who was at Hotel Dieu." (Bouvier died in 1827, Dupuytren 
in 1835.) Q. : "'Was D. alive wlien you ' juissed out'?" ^4..- "No, lie 
passed out before me ; I jiassed out twenty or thirty years ago.'' Q. : 
" How long do you think I shall live ? " (He had pretty well described my 
^ihysical condition.) He answered this question by counting in French on 
ihe medium's fingers to di-n'ii. Q. : " Wliat influence has my mind on wliat 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


you tell me ? " A. : I get notliing from j'our mind ; I can't read your mind 
any more than I can see tlirough a stone wall." He added that he saw 
objectively the persons of whom he spoke to me, and that they conveyed to 
him the messages given. Q. : " Have you any relatives living in Marseilles ? " 
A. : "I had a brother wlio died tliere two or three years ago." 

The names of several persons he called up lie spelt in French, as lloljert, 
not being able, seemingly, to jn'onounce them well in English. He mentioned 
by name my three deceased sisters, and dwelt at much length on my brnther 
<f;ieorge ; onr strong attachment, our travels in Europe, of his being near me 
a great deal, of our future reunion, &c., &c. Q. : " Will you ask George to 
give me some incident in his life known only to ourselves I " Dr. P. then 
alluded to the loss of our luggage, &c., in Euro^je. (A train went ort' without 
us, in which were our coats, luggage, &c.) 

" Robert and Clara are very grateful to you for your good 
care of their son, your nephew Georgie ; you and Georgie will surely go to 
Europe together after your mother's decease. " This was spontaneously given, 
and much was added regarding this nei)hew. Being quite curious as to the 
result of a seance I desired my nephew to have Ijefore my last one, he got a 
friend to arrange one, so that his name should not appear. At this stance of 
my nephew the first names given were those of his father and mother, but no 
impression of any weight was made upon his mind by the seance, .ind he 
utterly discarded the spiritual hypothesis. In drawing out of him what little 
I could, I found he asked his father to give him, the son, his exact age. He 

asked Dr. P. how his uncle (myself) was. A. : "Oh, C. W., he has 

. " (Correct.) " He plays on the violin." (Correct.) At my seance 

subsequent to tins Dr. P. spontaneously said : "Your nephew George has 
been here." I said, lie is sceptical about your being a spirit. Reply : "No 
matter how smart George is, he will have to learn that there is another life." 
(My nephew, who is thoroughly absorbed in his work as professor at the 
M. I. T., had said to me that he didn't want another life.) 

At my first seance Dr. P. said : "Your friend William is here, and ho 
addressed you as C. W. (This," said Dr. P., "is the way you sign your 
name), and William is detei'iiiined to give you his whole name before I go 
out." As Mrs. P. began to come out of the trance, " Pabodie " was spoken 
with great force, and Mrs. P. gave a start, saying, " Somebody spoke right 
in my ear." I thought she seemed to think I had done so. At my third 
seance Dr. P. said spontaneously : ' ' William Pabodie sends his love to you, 
and says he has sufl^ered greatly over here from remorse of conscience : and 
that, had he his life to live ovei', he would not do what he did." (Ho com- 
mitted suicide in 1870. ) . . . 

Dr. P. .said : " Many people think I am the medium ; that is all bosh." 
Q. : "Do you see George ? " (Brother.) A.: "Yes." ; " How doe.s he 
look ? " A. : " He has dark hair, and looks younger than you." (He had 
nearly black hair, and died at f(jrty-two, and I am nearly sixty-one.) Q. : 
' ' How do you get what you tell me about myself ; my length of life, my going 
to Europe, &c. ?" A.: "I get it from your astral light." . . . He 
seemed to know about my mother's condition, and spoke of it spontaneously. 
I then asked, " Can you tell me how long she may live '? " A. : " I cannot 
.see that she will live a year or two hiuger." . . . The sense of taste I 


Mr. B. Hodgson. 

fouiid to l)e iii>t ill the tongue, but on the forehead. [See p. 4.] Q. : "Do 
you see me now distinctly?" A.: ''I see more your -ethereal organism.'' 
Q. : " Can you tell me vv"ho that lady was whose rcroiaut I saw some years 
ago in my own house ? " A. : " That was your sister Clara. Clara was 
originally named Clarissa, and it was afterwards changed." (Correct.) The 
doctor has emphasised my own mediumistic power at each seance, and has 
said that I would surely write. " Get a jjlanchetto, and I will come to your 
own house as a test. " 

C. W. F. 

24. i.V'c. M. J. ,S(iniijc. 188.j-(!. 

[The Rev. M. J. Savage has long been widely known in the United 
(States, both as a minister and as an investigator of " Spiritualism."] 

Bo.ston, Jww 2m, 1890. 

During the winter of 1885-6, I had my first sitting witli Mrs. Piper. She 
was then on Pinckney-street, in this city. 

Innnediately on becoming entranced, her control. Dr. Phinuit, said there 
were many spirit friends present. Among them he said was an old man, 
whom he de.scribed, l;ut only in a general way. Then he said, "He is your 
father, and he calls you Judson." Attention was also called to the fact that 
he had a peculiar bai e sjjot on his head, and Mrs. I'iper jjut her hand on the 
corresponding i)lace on her own head. 

Now for the facts that give tliese two a]ii)arently siniple points whatever 
significance they possess. My father had died during the preceding summer, 
aged ninety years and six months. He had never lived in Boston, and Mrs. 
Piper, I am quite sure, had never seen liim nor been in any way interested 
in him. He wasn't at all Imld, but when quite young liad been burned ; so 
that there was a bare spot on tlie right side of the top of his head, i)erhaps 
an inch wide and three inches long, running from tlie forehead back towards 
the crown. This he covered by combing his hair over it. This was the 
spot that Mrs. Piper indicated. Now as to the name by which he addressed 
me : I was given the middle name, Judson, at the re([uest of a half-sister, 
my father's daughter, who died soon after I was born. Out of tenderness 
iov lier memory (as I always supjiosed) father always used, when I was a 
boy, to call me Judson, though all the rest of the family called me by my 
first name, Minot. In his later life father also got to calling me by my first 
name. No one, therefore, had called me by my second name for many 
years. I was therefore naturally struck and surprised by suddenly hearing 
one who claimed to be my father giving me once more my old boyhood name. 
I was not consciously tliinking of either of tliese things ; and I am con- 
vinced that Mrs. Piper couldn't have known anything about them. 

During this same sitting Mrs. Piper's control also said, "Here is some- 
body who says his name is John. He was your brother. No, not your (jwn 
brotlier ; your lialf-brother. " Then, pressing her hand on the base of her 
brain, she moaned, as she swayed to and fi-o. Then she continued, "Ho 
says it was so hard to die away off tliere all alone I How he did want to see 
motlier 1 " She went on to explain that he died from a fall, striking th.e 
back of liis head. Her whole account of this was realistic in the extreme. 

Ohser vat Ions of Certain Phenomena, of Tnvnee. 101 

My half-brotlier Jolin, tlie son of my mother — for both father and 
mother liad been twice married — died several years jirevious to this sitting. 
While building a mill in Michigan lie fell, striking the back of his head on a 
piece f)f timber. He was far from all friends ; and was a most tender lover 
<if liis motlier. I was not thinking nf him until told tliat he was present. 

Many other tilings occurred during the sitting. But I mention only 
these, because, though simple, they are clear-cut and striking, and liecause I 
see no way by whicli Mrs. Piper could ever have known them. 

M. J. Savaiik. 

P.S. — I liave had other sittings with Mrs. Piper. Most of the tilings told 
were, however, too personal for publication. Nearly all are inexplicable on 
any theory tliat does not go at least as far as telepathy. 

25. Miss Gertrude. Saixige. Ortoher 23/y/, 1888. 

Boston, October 23rJ, 1888. 

I made an apjiointment fi)r a sitting with Mrs. Piper, under an assumed 
name (that of "Miss Margaret Brown ''), and giving the address of a fi-iend 
on Walnut Avenue. 

At the time set I went to Mrs. Pijier's ; she kept me waiting for a few 
moments, on account of a severe headaclie from which she was suffering. 
Then, on taking me into her parlour, she spoke with me for a moment or 
two. She said, "Your home is on Walnut Avenue; you liave had 
quite a little walk over here {'' I replied, "No, my home is not on 
Walnut Avenue ; I gave you an assumed name and a false address, to make 
the sitting a better test." She said, " Oh, well, that doe.s not matter. I 
only hope I can give you something satisfactory, for when my liead aclies so, 
it is rather apt not to lie so successful." We then went into the darkened 
room adjoining, and she took my hand in hers. Immediately her fingers 
began to twitch and tlien lier wliole body, and she groaned and ground her 
teeth, and constantly muttered, " ( »li, what's the matter? what is the 
anatter ? " 

Before entering the dark room, I had taken three locks of hair, each one 
enclosed in an envelope, and liad placed one in the front of a b<iok, one in 
the back, and one in the middle. The one in the middle I knew was my 
mother's ; it was only a few hairs, taken by stealth, for she would not give 
her consent to niy having them. The otlier two I had not looked at, and 
had no idea to -whom tliey l^elonged. They were sent me by a friend, 
already enclosed in tlie little envelopes, and I was purposely ignorant cmi- 
cerning them — all to make the test more complete. It was on this errand, 
for this friend, Mr. Fred Day, that I went to see Mrs. Piper. 

Ongoing into the trance state, Mrs. Pijier's voice became guttural, harsh, 
and she spoke with a decided accent. Keejjing my hand in hers, and 
pressed against her forehead, she began instantly to speak, and she 
talked with me incessantly for an hour. She said : "I never talked 
with you before, ancf you are very peculiar ; it is not easy for me to 
i:ell you anything about yourself personally, you are s(^ queer. I do 
not know -who you are. I cannot get your name. My name is Dr. 
Fin way. Can you understand me '! Sometimes people cannot, because 


Mr. 1{. IIod(ji<ou. 

I s^jenk with an accent." "Oh, yew," I answered, "I can understand 
you ijerfectly. I want to give you a hick of hair for you to examine." 
I then gave into Mrs. Piper's hand the h>ck of hair from the enveloi>e in tlie 
front of the book — not knowing myself whose it was. Innnediately on 
receiving it, "Dr. Finway " exclaimed, "Fred I Oh yes, Fred, a young 
man, very thin, wears glasses, little beard, great friend of yours. This 
Fred — I never had his hair ])efore, but the influence does not seem new 1. 
[I learn that Mr. Day had sat previously with Mrs. Piper. — R. H.J 
Imogene — who's Imogene ? " " I do not know, "said I. "Yes. Tmogene, 
a young lady, friend of Fred's ; influence very strong. Who is .she "I 
am sure I do not know. I did not know he had a friend named Imogene. I 
do not think he has." "He has I Don't contradict me!" exclaimed he. 
Then he resumed, "This Fred is an only child, mother plump, a lovely 
lady, l)ut she is not long for y(.iur world. This Fred is going on a long; 
journey, acrc^ss the water, within a year or two. He has already taken two 
long journeys, one across the water, one not ; hasn't he, now ? " " lam not 
Kui-e," said I. "Well, he has," replied he. "You ask him. What I tell 
you I l:now — I can see it all, and I only tell you facts, and you will find tliat 
they are so." 

I then gave him the other unknown lock of hair, from tlie back of 
the book. Immediately he exclaimed, "Ugh! This is crazy! It makes 
me sick I ' "Well,'' he said, "I cannot tell you anything about this^ 
because the influence is so mixed ; it has been handled by too many people, 
and it was not cut oft" near the head, where the magnetism from the body 
could permeate it ; I can't tell you al)out it." (It proved to have been the^ 
hair of Mr. Day's aunt Mary, wlio died within the year, and it lias passed 
through several pe<jple's hands, and was cut ofl' near the end of the hair. ) 

Then I gave him the little lock of my mother's hair, from the centre of 
the Ijook. "Ella," he cried, "she is stingy enough with her hair ! " "This 
Ella is very sweet dispositioned, very ; but she is not at all well. She has 
trouble with her head ; she h;is fearful bili<nis headaches, and they come 
from the weak state of the nerves of the stomacli ; avid her liver is, of 
course, disordered ; you tell her that I am a ])hysician, and that I say for 
her to take hot douche baths : now rcmcmhcr ! She is, it seems to me, some 
relatiiin to you. Wait a moment — she is your mother, I think. Yes, she is 
yi_)ur mother. And she has \iu, dciw, trots, (fnatrc — four children — two girls, 
itnd two boys. You have a brother who is off", away from you, somewhere,, 
a little west of you ; he is very independent ; he is a strong influence in 
Ella's life. And you h;ive a yoiuiger Ijrother, and a sister ; her n;uue begins 
with II — e — Hellen, I think it is. But here is an ()ld lady here — in the 
spirit. She has only left the Ijody within a month, and she is your grand- 
mother. You, young lady, are a flirt I " "No," said I, "I am not." "The 
deevil you aren't. You (ov- .'" cried he. "You are flirty, l)ecause you do 
not know ; you have not made uji your mind ; you like ycjur friends in 
general, but no one of them in particular. I can see the picture of some of 
them. There is Clift'iml — he is moody. And his bi-otlier Fred is cranky, 
like you ; he does not know his own mind. Then there is Chester ; lie is. 
out W^est making his fortune ; and he will make a Ijig one, too. And who is. 
Bert?" "I do not know," said I. "Yes, you do. He is a very good 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 


friend to you, very good, altliougli lie is not very demonstrative in liis 
speech." (I then knew he meant a young friend of mine, a Harvard man. 
whoni I call Herbert, usually.) Then he said, " And there is this Fred ; he 
is a true friend to you : liis last name is Day — Fred Day ; and oh 1 I 
can see hooks, papers, and pictures all about him : I think he must 
take jnctures himself for amusement. 

" I suppose you tliink I cannot see you, but I can — you have dark eyes 
and light hair. I always liked dark eyes and light hair — now, what are you 
laughing at ? — and you will l)e married. But there is no liurry, not ;i bit — 
and in tlie latter part of your life, you will not live here, — it will be in some 
foreign country — in England, I tliink. I can see you crossing the water 
with a middle-aged lady and a young man. Your life, so far, has been 
rather even, not eventful ; but it will be full of action, later on. But you 
are so peculiar ; and this Fred is so peculiar ; you tell your father that he 
will, within a year, realise sometliing from some money he invested out 
West, about two years ago ; y(ju tell him I said so, and I htoii\ And you 
tell Ella that she will be better in a few years if she takes care of herself ; 
she is a little over fm'ty now, and she is often, on the street, even, taken 
with dizziness, and with darkness before her eyes : it all comes from the 
weak state of her nerves. And now I am getting tired. Is there anything 
you want to ask me ? I will tell you if I can. I cannot tell you even yoiu' 
name. I do not know : I cannot seem to get yoiiv influence separate from 
the others — Fred, and Ella, and all. If you will come some time witli(_iut 
any locks of hair, I will see how it will be then." 

Mrs. Piper then came out of the trance, with a face dia^vn and haggard, 
and with a dazed look in her eyes. " Who are you ''. " she said. "I do not 
know who you are, d(.> I ?" I said, ''No, but I will tell you now. I am 
Gertrude )Savage ; you have met my father, I think." She was deliglited to 
know me, and who I was, and asked if she had told me anything satisfac- 
tory. She was very glad when I told her she had. 

Everything she told me when in the trance was true as to fact : the 
prophecies remain to be verified. The "Imogene," so insisted upon, was 
immediately verified by Mr. Day, as his old friend. Miss Imogene Gurney, 
whose first name I had forgotten. The lock of hair was his own — and 
everything she said in coiniection with it was true. 

During the sitthig Dr. Finway talked vrith me a little in French, liut I 
assured him I had forgotten my French. " Oh," lie said, and laughed. "I 
sLipi^ose je ne sais ^"'s i« all you can say ?" And one thing further : He 
insisted upon it that I must either jjlay or embroider (ir draw, or do gome- 
thing with my fingers. "No," said I; " my accomplishments are highly 
practical." "Well, I see notes of music, anyway," said he. " What Ju you 
do?" "I write .shorthand." " Why didn't you say so before ? That's it. 
Sliorthand looks like music notes. You do not print it afterwards, though ; 
you are not a regular stenographer ; you just do it for some friend, to help 
him, I think. " 

All of which, as well as all of the whole interview, was perfectly true. 

Gertrude Sa^'acje. 

Wednesday, Odohcr 24:th, 1888. 


Afr. R. Hodgson. 

[Notes Ijy Rev. M. J. Savage, father of Miss Savage.] 

June 27th, 1890. 

Miss Savage had her sitting on October 23rd, 1888, and began to write 
her account tlie same day, nit did not finish it till the day following. 
Mr. Fred Day paid a visit to England in 1889. 

Clifford and Fred were friends of Miss Savage, living in Boston at the 
time of the sitting. 

Chester's home was in Pennsylvania. He had visited Bo.ston, but had 
not been there for several year.^. He met our family at a summer resort on 
the Maine coast, near Old Orchard. 

I had invested money out West about two years previously, but while a 
good investment, there has been no specially fiivnuralile change of any 

M. J. Savage. 

20. Rff. ir. H. Savage. Bittinrj with Mrs. Fiper, Hotel Humboldt, Holborn- 
^trc't, Pwxh)ir)j, December 28th, 1888, al 12.30 j;.m. 

Concerning the two following rec(jrds of .sittings in connection with 
I he Rev. M. J. Savage, see my remarks, pp. 34-37. 

After several remarkable sayings, she suddeidy said, "Ah! Here is 
.somebody from outside — he says his name is Robert West. He wants to send 
a message to your brother." Then, after a moment, "I wrote an — he is 
writing it and I am reading for you — an AR — TI — article A — G — A against his 
W — work in the AD — Y — Advance. What the dickens is the Advance ? " 
I said, " It is a paper. " Then she continued, "I thought he was wrong, 
l)ut — he was — right, and I repent, he was right, I want you to tell him for 
me. I am sorry. I v/ant you to tell him for me. I want to right all the 
wrong I did in the body." I said to her, "Can you see him?" "Yes," 
she rejjlied. " How does he look T' I asked. " He has greyish blue eyes, 
a jjcard, a rather prominent nose, a firm mouth, a large forehead, and he 
brushed his hair up, so," brushing my hair with her hand, to show the 
fashion of his. "He is of medium build, rather tall. He died of hemor- 
rhage of the kidneys." 

The above is an e.xact reproduction of Mrs. Piper's words, saving that I 
may have failed to reproduce in every particular the precise word. The 
substance is exact, and the words in no way dejjart from the sense of what 
she said. The description of Mr. West is photographic in its truth. HLs 
;i])])earancc at our interview was entirely unheralded by anything leading 
up to it. All that had gone before had been personal to myself and confined 
to my family and near relatives. 

Written out between 3 and 3.30 p.m. on my return from Mrs. Piper's 

W. H. Savage. 

Mr. M. J. Savage writes on -Tunc 26th, 1890 :— 

In explanation of this sitting of my brother, in ^vhich the Rev. Robert 
West was reported as present, I need to say : — 

1. He was a Congregational minister in Alton, 111., vv hen my brother was 

Observations of Certain Fhenomena of Traoice. 105 

fi minister, in the same denomination, at Jacksonville, in the same State. 
They knew each otlier there. 

2. Mr. West was afterwards a minister here in Boston. He went to 
•Chicago and became editor of Thi' Advance. Wliile on that pajjer he wrote a 
severe criticism on me, my doctrines, and niy work. My brother had not 
seen this criticism, and did not even know about it. 

3. Neither of us knew the cause of his death. On writing to The Advance, 
after this sitting, the correctness of Mrs. Piper's statement as to his death 
was confirmed. 

4. My brother is tlie minister of the Unitarian Cliurcli in Watertown, 
n suburb of Boston. 

Mr. W. H. Savage writes July 1st, 1890, from Watertown, Mass.: — 

My brother niade the appointment [for my sitting] by a letter saying 
that a friend of his desired to see her. He gave her no name. [I have since 
learnt from Mr. Savage that he had seen Mrs. Pijier about one and a-half or 
two years previously. — R. H.] 

Mr. W. H. Savage further writes July 5th, 1890 :— 

1. When Mrs. P. l)egan sjjeaking of Mr. West, she turned with a sur- 
prised look, as at an unlooked for interruption, with the remark, "All! 
here is, &c." 

2. When I asked for a description she turned again in the same direction 
and said, ''Hold up your head and let me look at you." Then she went on 
to descrilje as given in the statement. 

3. She gave date of death correctly, as well as cause. 

4. I did not know that West was dead. 

5. As my brother says, I had never heard of the attack on my brother of 
Avhich the interview speaks. 

[For other incidents concerning Rev. Robert West, see the next account. 
From the Congregational Year Book f(jr 1887, it appears that Rev. Robert 
West died at Sycamore, 111. , of Bright's disease, on October 25th, 1886 : 
jjastor's assistant at Shawmut Church, Boston, 1881-2 ; editor of Advance, 
Chicago, from 1882 till death.— R. H.] 

27. Bev. M. J. Savage. Januanj irjth, 1889. 

Jnhj 2ifh, 1889. 

On January 15th, 1889, the Rev. M. J. Savage had a sitting with Mrs. 
Piper, in the course of which Rev. Robert West purported to communicate, 
stating that his body was buried at Alton, 111., and giving the text on his 
tombstone. Mr. Savage was unaware of either of these facts at tlie time of 
the sitting. He soon afterwards ascertained that Rev. Robert West's grave 
was at Alton, 111. , but he did not ascertain the text on the tombstone. He 
recently informed me of the circumstance, and I liave since obtained from 
Mr. J. A. Cousley, editor of the Daihj Telegraph, .\lton. 111., a copy of tlie 
inscriptions on the tombstone. I requested Mr. Savage then to furnish me 
with the text which had been given to him through Mrs. Piper. Yesterday 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

lie fi.iiuul lii.s iiutes m;ide (Hi tliu d;iy of the sitting, ru;id mc tliu text, 

wliich agreed witli that sent to mc from Alton —viz., " Fervent in spirit^ 
serving t\\u Lord." 

II. Hodgson. 

Tlie above is correct. 

(Signed) M. J. Savage^ 

Jiilij 2btlt, 1»!I0. 

Mr. Savage adds on July 2r)tli, 1890:— 

At tlii.s same sitting (January loth, 188!)), the Ilev. C. L. (loodell, 
formerly (if St. Louis, Mo., claimed to be present. I was much surprised, 
for I did not know he was dead, and I know of no reason why Mrs. Piper 
shiiidd have associated us in any way iu her mind. I had a slight 
acijuaintance with him at (.)ne time ; and when he was settled in St. Louis,. 
I preached the sermon. I made no recoi'd at the time (jf anything beyond 
the fact (.)f his jnu'porting to l^e jiresent. Two days ago I went to the 
Congregational House in Boston, and asceitained tlic date of his death — 
February 1st, 188(1 

28. Miss Z. (well-hwirn to Err. 31. J. Suraijc). Novemhcr 19//i, 1888. 

[Account by Miss Z.] 

While talking witli Mrs. Piper before she went under the influence of 
li jr control I showed her the stone taken from Mr. Savage, and asked her if 
she would, when in the trance state, tell me all .she could al)out its story, as 
I wished it for a test. She took it in her hand, put it between her teeth, 
and then said, "It was given you by a gentleman, a great smoker, an 
Englishman — that is, directly descended in a straiglit line from English 
ancestors ; a man as set as iron, very intellectual, and of a most jjowerful 
will. A man I have the impression has been to me, and whom I call very 
fascinating." Upon my denying that the man had seen her, as I thought 
then was true, she said, " I cannot have made a mistake ; but come cpiickly 
into the other room, and sit down as soon as you can, for I can't wait long. " 
She afterwards told me she was then partially in the trance condition. 

Her first communication w;is to me about my brother, whose hair I gave 
her. She said a young man called Ned came and said, " Holloa, Charlie ! 
Holh.ia, Charlie ! " and said Charlie was my brother. This Ned told of his 
own death by consumption some time ago ; how my Ijrother was hy his bed- 
side near to the time he jiassed away ; that he spent a night by him just 
before he died, and said his other name began with "M" or "N" or 
something like, but that all was so far removed from me that it would ha 
impossible to be clear about it. All of which I found was true when I 
]'eturned home, and none of which I knew, saA-e that a jjoor boy had died 
several years since of consumjjtion — a friend to wlmm }uy brother was kind. 
Tlie [first] name I never heard before, and was not sure even of his last 
name. His message to my brother was jjersonal, and my brotlier felt it 
truth. As soon as she finished this message she began to hurriedly grope 
abi)ut for the "stone," which was in her lap. She told me tlie stone Avas 
found in this country, a long way oii', and near where some very valuable 
things had been found. Under where it was found are mines with lead and 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. lOT 

jjossibly silver. It was given to tlie iiwuer, wlin was not I, but a man of 
very tirui will, and to whom I slionld return it, 1 ly a lady who came into and 
went out of his life a long time since, and with whom I had no interest. 
The lady she thoiijlit was now dead. There were three influences about the 
stone, as the lady gave the stone from the hand of some one who gave it to 
her, in the jjresence of a iniddle-aged gentleman who stood beside his dear 
friend, the present owner. The stone has been kept in a box on the back 
part of a desk in a room like an office, of an incessant smoker. Room did 
not look like lawyer's or doctor's office. She then described the character- 
of the man who gave me the stone, speaking ])articularly of will-power 
and intellect, and saying, "Oh, what an old bach. '. isn't he ? Everything 
must be just so fixed and even, or he is frantic with his nerves ; and isn't 
he a fuss 1 A real old bach. I " As she had already mentioned that I 
was a "double-twisted old maid," I tried to induce her to believe that the 
owner of the stone and I were in danger of coming nearer t(.i each other than 
at present. She made answer to all my old maid silly airs, " No, no, no, 
for who then is Ella ? " And then came in a quick tone, " Who's Josejjh ? 
Don't you know 1 Well, he i.s this man's father, and he says he was there 
when you took the stone, and he knows you well. ' 

The letter which I gave lier she said was so foreign in its magnetism to 
me that she could tell but little about it — said it was written a long time ago, 
and came from a foreign land. In its surroundings whence it came were five 
people, three gentlemen and two ladies — one gentleman an elderly man. She 
received the name Elizabeth in its connection, and it seem.s to contain a sort 
of invitation. Near to the letter, or the one to win nn it was written, comes 
Wm. and Ruth. Then I gave her the lock of hair. She said, after a general 
outline of the character of the person from whose head it came, which was 
much the same as the character connected with tlie stone-owner, " How'd 
you come to have this hair ? The other was your brother's, but where in the 
world did you get this ! Oh, you cut it off yourself, didn't you ? Where di<l 
that man get liis big nose ? He's been a trip to Europe lately for his health, 
and it has done him good, too. Tell him he'll be as well as ever if he don't 
overwork, and that he has catarrh and part of the pain in his head comes 
from that." I said, " Does this man smoke as much as the other ?" and she 
said, " Oh no, not so much nearly, and I like him. He likes you, and you. 
like him, don't you '( " I then tried t(j persuade her to believe in a romance 
connecting me and the man from whose head I had taken the hair, thinking 
that a very probable conclusion. She answered, "Fiancee. No, didn't I 
say who was Ella and Gertrude and Phil '. Why, what are you talking about i 
What's to be done with his other ties? and let me tell you, if you are think- 
ing of that, there are as many as five women to be disposed of — then — (_ih ! 
what's the use of trying to cheat me I know all al)out it, and you never 
either of you had such an idea, but Joseph is here, and is this man's father- 
He says he sees you talking with his son, and there is never anything but kind 
friendship about it. He stood by the window there all the time you were in 
that queer little office, and you shouldn't try to cheat a medium so. Joking, 
is all right, but you needn't try to fool him, for he knows. He's glad to send 
a message by you to his son, he wishes you to tell him he watches over liim 
always, as he ever has, that he's so pleased to see he has come to l)e so gi.iud. 


21 r. R. Hodgson. 

•a man, anil tliat he tries so hard to help others, and he must not be dis- 
couraged or despondent about it, for he often lielps many whom lie does not 
know anything about, that his father is so pleased to see how he treats his 
mother, who is now in the earth-world. Also, he must not give Gertrude a 
worrying thought, for she is a good, good girl, and her father need never to 
worry a bit about her. " Mrs. Piper told me to put that down in my head 
and tell it as soon as possible, for no one but tlie man himself knew what 
thoughts he liad about Gertrude. She then told about Ella's sick headaches, 
and said "Phil " had a pain and trouble in his chest which his father must 
look out for, as he did not know it, and a weak stomach, whicli was not so 
serious. A description of the pleasant influences about the home life of the 
family of six — two "big" and four not so "big" people — and the telling why 
Dr. F. did not like Ella, because Ella did not like him, and would prefer 
■others not to come to him, closed the seance. 

[Notes on the above by the Rev. M. J. Savage.] 

June 27tii, 1890. 

Daring the week preceding her visit to Mrs. P., Miss Z., having 
■iiccidentally met me, told me that she was going to have a sitting with Mrs. 
P. on the following Monday. I then said, "This will be a capital oi^portunity 
for a test. She will never think of connecting you with me in any way. I 
w(juld like you to take two or three tilings for me, and see if she can get 
any tiling about me." I arranged to take these things to her on Saturday, but 
not being well, failed to do so. Meeting her in the Sunday school-room 
after church on Sunday, I asked her to step with me into the study, and get 
them. We went togetlier to the study ; I unlocked my desk, and took the 
.stone from a collection of curios which lie there, without telling her anything 
of its history. I gave lier also a letter and a lock of my own liair, Avhich she 
cut off at my request. 

Tlie history of tlie stone is as follows : — In the spring of L865 a party of 
friends, among them myself, living at San Mateo, Cal., went across the 
■coast range of mountains to the seashore, where there is a famous pebble 
beach, called the Pescadero Beach. While there one of the party jDicked up 
this curious stone among others, and it was given me by a lady of my 
acquaintance in the party, and has since lain most of tire time in my roller- 
to23ped desk in my study, not strictly in a box. There are mines not far 
■away from Pescadero Beach. I do not know whetlier the lady is dead or not, 
and have no means of easily tracing her. Tliere was a middle-aged gentleman 
in tlie party, one of my parishioners. I do not know who picked up the 

Mrs. P. 's reference to my habits as a smoker is sufficiently accurate, and 
any study looks like an office. Ella is the name of my wife, and Joseph is 
the name of my father. 

What Mrs. P. said of me before Ijecoming entranced was iiraccurate as 
regards my ancestry. I am of American birth and jiarontage, though my 
ancestors, like those of most Americans, came from England. 

The letter was one not written to me, and one in which I had no ])ersonal 
interest. It was an old letter, liearing evident marks of age in its faded 
yellow tint, and came from. England. I know nothing of the circumstances 

Observations of Certain PlLenomena of Trance. 10!> 

under which the letter was written, and do not tliink they could now be 
ascertained. Ileferences to nose and triji to Europe and catarrhal tendency 
all correct. Gertrude and Phil are the names of two of niy children. The 
references to the physical condition of my wife and son were substantially 
correct, and Phinuit was also right in describing us as a family of six, as I 
have four children. 

M. J. Savage. 

June 27th, 1890. 

Rev. M. J. Savage writes on June 30th, 1890 :— 
I have seen Miss Z. 

1. She made the engagement for her sitting in ])erson, and about a week 
in advance. Two other ladies were present at the time, and she did not give- 
her name. 

2. The last name of "Ned," in her re])ort, begins with "N." 

Miss Z. writes, about June 30th [received July 1st, 1890] : — 

Mr. Hodgson, — At the request of Mr. M. J. Savage, I write you an 
addition to the rejjort which you already have, of a sitting which I had witli 
the medium, Mrs. Piper, November 19, 1888. 

My appointment with the medium was made by myself personally. I sav\- 
her for only a moment at the time, as others were waiting for her, and I Iiad 
no conversation whatever with Mrs. Piper on any other subject than tlie 
time convenient for her to give me for a seancd. I had never seen her 
before, and have never met her since, except the day she sat to give me 
tests — November 19. 

The point which Mr. Savage tells me you wish to know more about 
is in regard to something told me of my aunt, who was then in Vermont. 
In the midst of other tests, and utterly without suggestion from me, Mrs. 
Piper suddenly said she saw a lady by the name of Marie or Maria, and in 
the room with her was, she should say, her daughter, perhaps, named Estelle 
tir Stella. The lady Maria had some trouble on the back of her hands and 
wrists which looked like eczema. They were very troublesome tf) her, but 
she would soon come to Boston for a long visit, and her health would be 
much improved. 

I have an aunt Maria living in Vermont, some one hundred and hftj' 
miles from Boston, who has a daughter Stella. I immediately wrote my 
aunt, asking if she had any trouble with her hands, and in about two days 
X'eceived a reply, that she had been much aimoyed by something on the 
back of her hands, and extending up the arms beyond the wrists a little, 
which she supposed to be ivy poison, as she knew of nothing else vi'hich 
could have caused it. She later came to visit us, which was unexpected tn 
all at that time, and as her health improved she has had no more of the 
trouble with her hands. 

Miss Z. adds, on July 5th : — I knew nothing of any trouble with my 
aunt's hands or arms until told of it by Mrs. P., November 19th, 1888. Then 
I wrote inquiring about it, and received the answer whicli I wrote to you a 
few days since. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

•2'.}. Mrs. ir. March, 1886. ' " 

[From Miss E. R. AVebster.] 

158, Nortli A\-enue. Cambridgo. 
My Dear Mr. H(jDiisox, — You ^\ill tiiul enclosed a statement of tlie 
• experience of tlie lady of whom T spoke to yon. It was wi-itten down as 
Mrs. D. t(^ld it, and is necessarily crude, but I think contains all the 
facts. . . . Emily R. Webster. 

The statement eucLised by Miss Webster is as follows : — 

Jaiiiuinj 2ith, 1888. 

Mrs. W.'s son, Nelson (i. W., ran away from home when he was between 
fourteen and fifteen years old, about the year 18B9. From tliat time she 
heard from him very irregularly, sometimes a period of several years 
elapsing between the letters. In the intervals between his letters, she knew 
nothing about his whereabtiuts, as he was roving from one country to 
another. The last letter which liis mother received from him was written 
three years before the tinie when she received information about him frcim 
Mrs. Piper. She had given up all hope of seeing him again, and was 
inclined to think that he was dead. She had been to Mrs. Piper not [more] 
than twice before the sitting in question. On these occasions she had been 
there for the purpose of receiving communications from children who had 
died a short time before, and had received no message concerning Nelson. 

Some time in March, 1881) (this date is correct within a month, without 
4oubt), she went to Mrs. Piper for the purpose of obtaining some a.s.surance 
(if his death, if nothing more. Mrs. Piper did not kno-\v her name, and had 
no idea what she wished to find out. She went into a trance, [however, and 
said without previous explanation, "Yon will hear from Nelson within two 
weeks." She then went <jn to tell her that the first letter would not be from 
Nelson, but from a friend of liis (Mrs. Piper told his name, but the narrator 
has forgotten it) concerning liiiu. Tliis would be follow-ed l)y a letter from 
Nelson, the contents (jf which she did not disclose. She then told Mrs. W. 
tliat her son was coming liome. This is all the account that remains of the 
sitting. Within tlie stated time the letters arrived, and later, one an- 
nouncing his departure for hon\e. These letters all came from California. 
He arrived in Cambridge June 15th, 1880, and remained with his motlier 
until she died, August 10th, 188(i. 

Mrs. W. was a Spiritualist, and l)elieved that these communications 
came from the spirit- world, but immediately on her return from Mrs. 
Piper's, she told her sister of the information she had received, so tlie vision 
was not coloured by the light of suljsequent events. 

This above account is given by tliis sister, who hereby testifies to its 
correctness. Mrs. II. A. D. 

Mrs. D. related this incident to me a day or two after her sister told her, 
and before Mrs. W.'s s<jn had returned. Emily R. Webster. 

In re)>ly to further ini|uiries Miss Webster wrote : — 

No record w'as ever made of Mrs. W.'s experience with Mrs. Piper. 
Mrs. D. related it from memory, and the only strengthening evidence we 

Ohservailons of Certain Phenomena of Trance. Ill 

liave is that of my memory, according to wliieh lier last account varied scarcely 
at all from her first one, given shortly after the events occurred. It is not 
probable that the letters exist, for the son destroyed all his mother's papers 
after her death. There is no independent evidence to confirm the date of 
the sitting, unless Mrs. Piper has it, wliicli is unlikely, as she did not know 
Mrs. W. 's name. The dates of tlie letters too are unobtainable. The son 
returned on the Panama steamer which reached New York on or about the 
16tli of .Tune, 188(5. Tlie name has gone from Mrs. D.'s mind. 

Mrs. Browne {ne'e Webster) writes on February 16th, 1890 : — 

'* I have seen Mrs. D. this afternoon, and asked her if Mrs. Piper gave 
tlie correct name of the person wlio wrote to Mrs. W. about her son. She 
is absolutely sure that she did. Tliis coincides with my impression of the 
story as Mrs. D. told it to me."' 

30. MisA A. M. R. 

Boston, Fehnutnj lith, 1888. 
I have had a number of sittings with Mrs. Piper, I think thirteen within 
tlie past three years, at intei-vals of some months. At the first sitting I tried 
to get some information regarding a friend who had tlien lieen dead about three 
months. I was told by Dr. Phinuit, the medium's regular '■ control,'' that I 
probably would not get anything satisfactory for some time, and was advised 
to wait about eight months. At the expiration of that time I sat again, and 
At the third sitting from that time (I think my dates are correct) the medium 
was controlled for a few minutes during tlie hour hy what purported to lie 
the spirit of ray friend, who, however, seemed to have such imperfect control 
that he could only speak in a choked, whispering voice. At the next sitting 
he was stronger, and now is able to take control and talk easily and distinctly 
for perliaps half an hour. I have received the impression, from what has 
been told me tlirougli the medium, that for some months after the death of 
my friend he did not sufficiently understand the conditions of his new exist- 
ence, or the conditions under wliicli lie could return, to be able to reach me 
through any medium. 

A. M. R. 

Boston, Decemher 17//', 1888. 

I spent a very pleasant evening with Mrs. Piper a week ag(j Saturday, 
nnd had an interesting sitting. 

My friend took control first. He used to be lame ; liad a fall when 
he was a baby, and one leg was shorter than the other, and he always 
walked with a crutch, stepping only on one foot. He has often said to me 
-'You know my lame leg ; well, that is all well now." This evenino' lie sat 
ftbout five or six feet from my folding bed, on which were some ornaments. 
I asked him if he thought he could walk over there, and he tried very hard 
to raise himself from the chair, without succeeding at first. I told liim he 
had better not try, as it might Ite too much for the medium. He insisted ou 
trying, however, but commenced rubbing one leg, and asked me if I 
remembered which leg was lame. At last he raised liimself, but instead of 
walking, as Dr. P. wouhl do, lie leaned heavily on me, and seemed to liop 


Mr. R. Hodyson. 

or hitch along on one foot, exactly as a person would do who could only use- 
one foot in walking. After he came back, he dropped into the chair 
exhausted, and said that was the hardest work he had done since coming 
back, and that it was too much of the real life for him ; he did not like it ; 
he was very glad to have had the opportunity to handle the articles with the 
hands of the medium, because now he could handle them with his spirit 
hands, but he did not like it ; he would rather sit in the chair and talk. 

I had both of them write their names on a block of paper, with my name. 
The two styles of handwriting were very different ; both were scrawly, but I 
think I can detect quite a strong resemblance in the capital letter H to my 
friend's old handwriting, which was peculiar, although he did not spell his 
own Christian name right. ... I handed my friend a grape, and 
asked him what it was. He insisted that it was an orange. Then I handed 
him an orange, and asked what that was. He said it was a ball ; did not 
know what else to call it. I tried the same thing with Dr. P., and he called 
them by their right names at once. I told him the mistake my friend had 
made, and he said, " Well, he does not handle things in the material world 
as much as I do ; he is as much above sensing an orange as you would be 
above your dead body if you had 2:)assed out of it," or words to that effect. 

I asked my friend if he would not get my sister, who seemed to be there, 
and Dr. P. and all to stand back of me when the medium returned, to see if 
she could not see them. So when half out of her trance she exclaimed at some- 
thing which she saw. She described afterwards three persons whom she saw — 
two gentlemen and one lady — and also some beautiful flowers. I have had 
a similar experience with her twice before. On one of these occasions she 
described my friend (referred to above) in general terms, and added : ' ' His- 
nose was just a little bit crooked." This amused me, as my friend and I, 
before his death, frequently disputed as to the straightness of his nose, and 
I always maintained that it was slightly crooked. I am satisfied that Mrs. 
Piper could have known nothing whatever of this. 

A. M. E. 

Boston, Mass., June 23nl, 1890. 
I have had a number of sittings since the date of my last letter to you,, 
and have made notes of what was said within a short time after the sittings. 
At each sitting I have conversed with two personalities, Dr. P. , the regular 
control, ;uid the control which claims to be the spirit of my friend H. I 
cannot give you very mucli in the nature of tests, as most of my conversation 
with Dr. P. was of a personal nature, consisting of advice, &c. , more 
interesting to me than it would be to anyone else. He recognises me each 
time as an old friend, and remembers a great deal of what he has said to me- 
at previous sittings ; in fact, his memory seems to be quite a remarkable one. 
He has jirophesied a number of material changes which are to come into my 
life, and which I do not foresee. At first he mentioned the time which he 
thought would elapse before these changes would take place ; but when the 
sjjecified time passed, and nothing happened, he said that the changes- 
jjrojjliesied would certainly come about, but that he could not tell definitely 
in regard to time. Several unimjiortant things have happened which he said 
would happen ; for instance, that a certain person whom I had not seen for 
a long time was coming to see me, &c. A lady with whom I am well 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 113 

acquainted at one time had a sitting with Mrs. Piper, and Dr. P. told lier 
slie was not going to marry a certain gentleman with wliom she was at the 
time very friendly. This lady's name was K. At a later date, at a sitting 
of my own, I told Dr. P. that he must have made a mistake in regard to K. , 
as she was engaged to tlie gentleman mentioned, and expected to be married 
shortly. He excused himself by saying that he had had only one sitting with 
K., and did not get the right influence ; that she was very mediumistic 
herself, and weakened him when talking with her ; but he added that 
" there was many a slip 'twixt cup and lip." It turned out that K. never did 
marry the gentleman in Cjuestion, as he was taken with a hemorrhage, and 
died quite suddenly a few months after their engagement. Dr. P. has 
described living friends of mine very accurately, one in particular whom I 
remember, witli whom the medium was not acquainted, and whom I think 
she had never seen. 

When my friend H. takes control of the medium it seems to be quite a 
different pei-sonality, although there is something in the voice or manner of 
speaking that is like Dr. P. The voice, however, is not nearly so loud. 
When I asked him once why this was, he told me that Dr. P. was right by 
him and that he could not stay a moment without his help. In a great 
many little ways he is quite like what my friend used to be when living, so 
much so that I am afraid it would take a great deal of explanation to make 
me believe that his identical self had not something to do with it, wholly 
apart from the medium's powers or from anything that may be in my own 
mind concerning him. This, too, in si^ite of the fact that he does not 
alwaiis know how to spell his own name correctly, though I am happy to be 
able to state that he certainly knoivs what his name is. He says the longer 
he is away the more he forgets about things in this life, though he does not 
forget his friends. In one of the earlier sittings he gave the name of a 
mutual acquaintance, a gentleman with, whom he was very friendly just 
before he died. Also in one of the early sittings he asked me if I did not 
remember about his lameness, saying that his spiritual body was not lame, 
but that he had to come back that way so that I would recognise him. This 
was before he was able to take control himself. He insists that he can see- 
me in my room, and often knows what I am doing. At one time he asked 
me how I liked that little drab-coloured book that I had been reading with 
another person. There was a particuha- book which I had been reading 
aloud with a friend, but it was covered with brown paper, as I remember, and 
I had no idea what the cloth cover was. On reaching liome I took off the 
paper cover, and found that it was a drab-coloured cloth cover. I may have- 
seen the book when new, and before the paper cover was put on, but if I did 
I had completely forgotten about it. I asked him one time if he could tell 
where I had been that day. He said I had been in a box with windows, and 
had taken out a pencil and written, that after that I went in something else 
with horses, then into a buildhig, where he left me. I had that day been in 
a drawing-room car of a railroad train, and had done some writing e)i roufe^ 
had then taken a carriage to my destination. 

When I talk with H. about the philosophy of spirit return, he always 
seems more or less puzzled, and generally refers me to Dr. P. , saying that he 
knows more about such things. He hardly knew at first what I meant by the 



Mr. R. Hodgson. 

medium, but says that he has for the time being another organism, and that 
is about all he knows. When he asked me why I did not come oftener to 
see him, I explained to him, somewhat as I would to a child, that the medium 
was not always at command, and that I had to pay money for a sitting with 
her. He said, "I am an expensive article, then?" I replied, "Yes, you 
spirits are quite expensive articles." 

A. M. R. 

31. Miss A. A. B., Boston. Jannanj or Fehruar}j, 1888. 

Jidy nth, 1890. 

Your letter to my mother . . . was received. She does not think 
her sitting with Mrs. Piper was of sufJicient interest to report. I had one 
sitting, and will send you the account of some portions of it, and you can 
use it or not, as you see fit. I wrote it out quite fully at the time. 

I went to Mrs. Piper chiefly to see if she could tell me of some china we 
had lost. It had been stored during a long absence in Europe, and upon our 
return we could not find it. It was taken from our house, among other 
things, by a man who had been in our employ for many years. There was 
no thought in my mind of his dishonesty. I said nothing about it to 
Mrs. Piper either before or during the trance, and she did not even know my 
name. I was determined to give her no clue of any kind, and only once 
asked a leading question, and then purposely to see if she would take the 
opportunity to build anything from it. 

She began by speaking of my father's illness, describing accurately his 
symjatoms, and said his sLster Emmeline (who had died many years ago) was 
watching over him, and that he would be much better in the fall. This latter 
proved true. Then she said, "You have lost some china, and you feel very 
badly about it. It was taken from your home by a man who has been in 
the employ of your family a long time. It is in his surroundings now. You 
must get him to restore it, but do not accuse him of having taken it. He 
has already been spoken to about it, and thinks you suspect him. It was a 
very wicked thing for him to do, very." Several months after Mrs. Piper 
told me this, the china was found precisely where it had been first placed, 
and where it had been overlooked, as the box was believed to contain 
■something else. 

Mrs. Pijjer continued, "There is a Mary here, who wishes to speak to 
you. Do you know who I mean ? " " No," I said. She went on speaking 
of other things, finally broke oft' — "This Mary says you wi»(.s^ understand who 
■she is." I said I could not think who it could be. Again, after speaking of 
other things, " Mary will not go away. You have a friend Lizzie, haven't 
you?" "Yes." " Well, it is her sister. She had such a bad cough. Now 
do you know her ? " " Yes." "She wants me to tell you to tell Lizzie that 
she is happy, and .she doesn't cough now, and she sends her love." All this 
very emphatically. Mary I had never seen ; she died years ago in 
consumption, before I knew Lizzie, and without the explanation I should 
never have thought of her. Once again Mrs. Piper returned to her, and 
said, "Mary is still here, and wants you very much to tell Lizzie that she 
wants to see her," adding, "you will tell her, won't you ? " 

The one rather leading question I asked was if an aunt for whom I was 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 115 

named was present. She said, "No. Do you wish to speak with her?" 
"Yes." " Then I will have to call her." In a moment she said, " She does 
not come ; I can't find her. Did she pass away a long time ago 1 " "Yes, 
many years." "That is the reason she does not come. She has grown too 
far away from this world. " " Do they, then, forget this world?" I asked. 
■" All that is material is forgotten as of no consequence. It is all a spiritual 
growth, and all spiritual growth here will help you there. " 

"Did you ever own a bird ? " " Yes." "It is a parrot, and is flying all 
about your head now." " Do birds, then, have another life V "I tell you 
this — anything that you have liad liere and want there again, you will have. 
You will have that parrot again." I never owned but one bird, and that 
was a grey parrot. 

"Do you expect to go to a party in a few days?" "No." "Well, you 
will. Witliin three days I see you in a large company." I did go in just 
three days, most unexpectedly. Another prophecy, that she saw me across 
the ocean within two years, was not fulfilled. She described accurately my 
home surroundings and my life. She spoke of a number of persons being 
present, always giving the name, and several times naming the member 
•of the family to wliom they sent a message. She also mentioned a number 
of names that I did not know at all. 

These are the chief points of the sitting, I think, though I have not by 
me the report I wrote at the time. It made a deep impression upon me. I 
shall be much interested in the report of the Society. — Yours very truly, 

(Miss) A. A. B. 

Miss B. writes on July 17th, 1890 :— 

I cannot give you the precise date of my sitting, but it was a month or 
two after my mother's, in January or February of 1888. My motlier made 
my engagement without mentioning for whom she made it. 

The original di'aft of my interview is in our town house, and in a day or 
two I will go in and get it, and then add some otlier matter. If I remember 
rightly, the rest of it was so very personal I should hesitate to publish it 
even without my name. I will then try to give you some statement of my 
mother's sitting. 

Miss B. writes on July 21st, 1890 :— 

I will add from my notes upon my sitting witli Mrs. Piper what I have 
omitted from my first paper. 

"You have a brother William in the spirit-land." ... I had a 
brother William who died when a child. 

' ' I see you painting. You get too absorbed and get very tired. Work 
for lialf an hour and then walk about the room. You are not strong enougK 
to work steadily." . . . You were very strong once, but for some reason 
lost your health. But you are much better, and will be very well again. You 
are made of good material, and there is no disease." It is true I was 
particularly strong, but was poisoned and for some years was much out of 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

health. When I saw Mrs. Pijjer I was much better. My painting affected 
me as she said. 

She sijoke of different friends in the spirit-land as being present, only 
saying of them that they were very hajjpy. 

She broke off very abruptly once and said, Who is Sadie ? " "I do not 
know." "Yes, you do. She says she did not know you, but knew Lettie. 
She had a cancer in her cheek — now you know ? " " Yes." "She says, give 
her love to Lettie." This whs a young girl whom I had never seen, who died 
as described, and of whom I had heard much from "Lettie." 

Cei'tain other incidents of my life she described with perfect correctness, 
and the sitting closed. 

Of my mother's sitting I can give you but very little, as she had for- 
gotten much of it. She spoke first of my father's illness, saying that was 
the most important thing in her life then. She described correctly his 
symptoms, and told her, as she had told me, that Emmelinc was watching 
over him. She described her home and surroundings correctly, particularly 
mentioning Ainiie, my mother's maid, as being such a very nice j^erson, and 
said she would live with us a long time. 

She also spoke of a brother "Joe," who lived a long way across the 
country, and who would come into her life in some important matter. The 
brother lives in Cleveland, and " the imj^ortant matter " has not yet trans- 
pired. She spoke of Judge B., and my mother said she knew no such 
person. Mrs. P. said, "Your husband will know him. Ask him when 
you go home." My niother did so, and found he was an old and particular 
friend of my father's, who died many years ago. My mother never knew him. 

32. Mr. A. J. a, Mcriden, Conn. About Febnumj, 1889. 

Miss A. A. B. [see the preceding account] writes on July 17th, 1890 : — ■ 

I enclose to you a statement of a sitting my uncle, Mr. A. J. C, had with 
Mrs. Piper. I made the appointment for him, about one year after I had 
my sitting. I made the engagement in my own name, but did not mention 
for whom I made it. The remarks in regard to my uncle are very accurate, 
as he is very much of a recluse, living among his books, much attached to 
his home, and with the great aversion to medicine which she amusingly 
illustrates. He is also "open to conviction," but hard to convince. Since 
he has put down the prophecy of my going to Europe and marrying there, I 
will add to the statement she made me on this subject, which I omitted in my 
account, that she said I would be in very congenial company there ; that I 
would marry and be very happy ; and with much emphasis, putting her liand 
in mine, "This will certainly happen, and when it comes to you you will 
remember what I tell yiju." I mention it as being rather remarkable, her 
telling this to both of us, tlie sittings being a year apart, and I having had 
no communication with her in tlie meantime. 

[Account by Mr. A. J. C] 

" I am Dr. Favineau [Phinuit]. What do you want ? " 

" You h ive in your surroundings William. He is not well and does not 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 117 

hike good care of himself." (This statement, if made concerning Mr. 

William , my brother-in-law, at whose house I was a visitor, would be 

true. ) 

' ' Henry is here in the spirit — says he is a friend of yours, but considerably 
younger ; knew your family well ; there is something about over the water." 
(I did not at first think of Henry "C," and, upon my saying that I did not 
know who was meant, the remark about " over the water " was made, and 
this reminded me of Henry "C," of Hartford, Conn., witli whom I had 
planned a European trip. It seems he had spoken of it to his friends, for it 
was mentioned in his obituary published in the Hartfurd Conmnt.) " Gives 
you his love." "1 see you in your library — books all around and a desk 
there. There are four in your family. I see a lady — she is your sister ; 
your mother is there — she is lame in this (riglit) foot. There is a little 
girl — not so very little — she is a sister's child ; she plays music a great 

Is the sister who is with me older or younger than I ? 

" She is a great deal older ; at least, she looks so. I see your fatlier's 
picture, with a remarkable expression ; no hair on top of his head ; hair 
around the base. You have had trouble with irregularity of heart action. 
You thought something might be the matter with the heart. But there was 
nothing. It was nervous, sympathetic ; came from the -stomach. You must 
be very particular about your diet. Be careful what you eat. About two 
years ago you made a change which was very beneficial." 

Shall I take medicine '? 

' ' No, there is no use giving you medicine. You are not that kind of a 
man. You would let the vials stand until the bottoms dropped out before 
you. would take it. Do you know fussy willow ? You can take some of tliat 
and pour on boiling water and let it stand, and take a wine-glass full of that 
if you like. 

"I don't like your mother's condition, but she will live a good while yet. 
You lead a very regular, quiet life, with nothing to excite you, and are in 
comfortable circumstances, financially, and it will be a long time before 
you are in the sjiirit-land. There is one Tom here, and says that he is a 
friend of yours — that his family lived near you. His hair is very grey — 
says, remember him to his wife. Your father is here : says you thought of 
doing something to your house ; that you had l^etter postpone. You will go 
iiway within two years on account of somebody's health." 

Do you mean permanently ? 

' ' No. You are so settled that nothing on earth can take you away. 
Your mother's mind is preserved remarkably. Is it not wonderful V' 
How many are her family ? 

" Five brothers — three are living — two in the spirit. Three sisters." 
Wrong. There are five sisters. 

' ' I can see only three. Your sister who is with you has had trouble 
with one tooth since you came away. Your niece, who is with you, has a 
humour, a breaking out. " I don't think so. "She has. Ask your sister 
and she will tell you. You are staying with friends here — a sister. You 
have a. niece who paints. She will go to Europe within two years and meet 
some one there whom she will marry. You have a friend, the last three 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

letters of whose name are ' S — 0 — N.' He is at a distance from here. You 
have a grandmother in the spirit named Elizabeth. One of your grand- 
mothers had a relative named Sarah, who died from a sore in her side. Your 
mother will know about it. You deal in real estate." No. "There is 
something about land — I see land." I own land. " Hurry and ask your 
questions. I am tired. 

" You do not readily believe. You are willing to receive evidence, but 
hard to convince. You have been around a good deal, and know the world 

I do not remember the precise date of my visit to Mrs. Piper. I think 
it was in February, 1889. My niece made the appointment for me, giving 
her no inforniation regarding me. I waited about an hour in the parlour 
while she was occuj^ied with another. Dr. Savage, she said, and said that she 
was tired. At my first leisure, two or three days afterwards, I wrote out the 
above, putting down what she said in the order in which it was said, ai> 
nearly as I could recollect. 

In the early jjart her statements were, in the main, positive and 
emjihatic. Afterwards, especially at the last, mostly tentative and inter- 
rogatory, and at the last, in response to my in(iuiries for names of friends in 
the sjiirit-land (made for the purpose of testing her powers), lior guesses 
were no better than anyone could make. She many times repeated, ' ' I am 

All the statements relative to my family wore strikingly accurate, except 
as to the number of my sisters, and that relative to my sister having trouble 
v.'ith her tootli. My niece had the humour or breaking out, although I was 
not aware of it, and questioned it. 

Mother was at the time nearly eighty-eight, now jmst ninety, and still a 
cyclopfedia of historical, literary, and general information. 

The diagnosis for me was correct, so far as I know or can judge. The 
family physician had exam-ined me for heart trouble and said substantially 
the same, and a system of dieting adopted two years previously had helped 
me greatly. 

Father's picture is as described. (It represents him at eighty-hve. He 
died at ninety-three.) There was a " Tom," commonly so-called (Thomas 
Clark), answering the description, who married my cousin and removed from 
here to California, where he died, a full believer in the Spiritualistic faith. 

Father's mother's name was Elizabeth. I was thinking of doing some- 
thing to the house wliicli is not yet done. Mother knows nothing of the 
"Sarah." The prophecies regarding my niece and myself have not been 

My recollection of the order in whicli the statements were made was 
approximate only. There was no connection between them, but abrupt 
changes of subject. 

Before the seance Mrs. P. asked if I came for medical advice. I said, 
"No," my object being merely to investigate, to witness myself 
plienomena of which I had heard. 

A. J. C. 

Meriden, Conn., Jahj lotli, 1890. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 119 

33. 3Ir. F. S. S. Record of Seance with Mrs. Piper {about June, 1888]. 

The following record was written immediately after returning from Mrs. 
P. 's house : — 

A week before the stance recorded below, I went with another man, both 
of us unknown to Mrs. Pij^er, to make an ajjpointment. She gave us a 
sitting at that time, but with no success. 1 I then made an appointment for a 
week ahead, not through the Psychical Society, but on my own account, and 
not giving my name. My friend, subsequently to my second stance, assured 
me that he had given no information of any kind whatever to Mrs. P., or to 
anyone else. At the second meeting the medium soon began to talk in the 
usual broken English dialect, so dear to mediums, as follows : — 

' ' There is a ' Lou ' in your surroundings. She is Louise, but she 
called 'Lou.' " (My sister has a step-daughter of this name.) " There are 
five of you ; three brothers, one of them Harry." (Answer : "No, Harry 
is a brother-in-law." I have one own brother.) " Then there are Lizzie and 
Fanny, who are associated together." (My brother-in-law has two sisters, 
Lizzie and Fanny.) "Lou is now with Lizzie." (They were at the time 
together at Greenfield, Mass.) "Lou and Harry are associated" (father 
and daughter), "and Lizzie and Fanny" (sisters). " Then there is your 
mother." (Question: What is she like?) "She wears her hair, which is 
wavy and grey, drawn simply back on the sides " (accompanied by gesture 
exactly indicating). "She has a very sweet face, and pleasant smile." (Two 
marked characteristics.) "She has a sister ; she is Sarah." (Question : 
Well, Sarah is her middle name. What is her other? Could not answer.) 
"She is difl'erent from your mother ; has very original ways of thinking, and 
ideas. She is very positive ; set as the hills ; and doesn't believe in me. 
She is a crank, and so am I, but she will have to be a good deal bigger 
she is to scare me." 

(Tliis part of the conversation is very interesting, as it bristles with many 
facts. My aunt is of very different nature and temperament from my mother 
in many ways. Her thought is original ; she is progressive and radical in her 
ideas. Positiveness and firmness are most certainly characteristics of hers. 
My aunt had given several sittings to Mrs. P. , \mt with no success ; hence 
she had become somewhat sceptical ; hence the medium's words, " She does 
not believe in me." Mrs. P. had no possible means of associating my aunt 
and me, to my knowledge, as neither of us had spoken of the other to the 
medium. Her allusions to her " having to be a good deal bigger than she is 
now, &c.," are also very pertinent.) 

" You and your brother have lately had a change." (Question : What do 
you mean ?) "Your domestic relations have changed, you are living in a 
different place." (My parents had lately died, and my brother and I had 
moved from the house where we had all lived. ) ' ' There is somebody in 
your surroundings who is lame." (I had been lame ofi' and on for several 
years, from an injury to the shin-bone from a blow. At the time of ray visit 
to Mrs. P. there was no trace of lameness in my gait. Question : What is 

^ I learn from Mr. S. that Mr.s. Piper tried but was unable to go into trance on 
this first occasion. Both Mr. S. and his companion are well known to me. — R.H, 


j\Ir. B. Hodgson. 

the matter ?) "He is lame here below the knee, on the shin. It is like an 
accident ; there is a growth of some kind." (This was said before touching 
the place. There had been some enlargement of the periosteum.) " Yes, 
Frank " — (I had previously mentioned my first name in course of inquiry) 
— " has had a good deal of trouble with the knee. You don't sleep well, do 
you? Your condition is poor from wakefvilness." (Perfectly true. ) "You 
have been on a journey lately for your health." (Question: Where?) 
Answer : ' ' Isn't there a place called Now Y(5rk ? Well, you went in that 
direction and then south." (I had been shortly before this for a change and 
for my liealtli as far south as Aiken, S.C.) " You will take another journey 
before long. You will be called away by another's illness. " [This did not 
come true.] " I can't see it all definitely, but you will go away in about a 

" Is there any hiW on your mind ? " (Question : Bill, wliat do you mean 
— wliat kind of bill?) "A bill, or a mortgage, or anything? Are you 
tliinking of buying any building ? " (Two days before tliis seance a man 
had spoken to my brother and me about taking a house as an investment, 
upon wliich tliere was a mortgage. We three were the only persons 
cognisant of this.) " Y(.)U are sometimes blue and discouraged, owing to 
poor physical condition ; but you will come out all right, and you have a 
happy-go-lucky temperament." (I had suffered so from sleejilessness, owing 
to my lameness, that it did wear upon me a great deal.) 

There the medium came to, and the stance ended. This is my only 
experience of tlie sort. 

F. H. S. 

34. ''Mr. M. N." March, 1888. 

Ajml 5th [1889]. 

Briefly stated, the three cases of prophesying which I have experienced 
with Mrs. Piper, and which have come true, are as follows : — 

About end March of last year I made her a visit (having been in the liabit 
of doing so, since early in February, about once a fortnight). She told me 
tliat a death of a near relative of mine would occur in about six weeks, from 
which I should realise some pecuniary advantages. I naturally thought of 
my father, wlio was advanced in years, and whose description Mrs. Pij)er 
had given me very accurately some week or two previously. She had not 
.spoken of him as my father, but merely as a person nearly connected with 
me. I asked lier at that sitting whether this person was the one who would 
die, but she declined to state anything more clearly to me. My wife, to 
whom I was then engaged, went to see Mrs. Piper a few days afterwards, 
<md she told her (my wife) that my father would die in a few weeks. 

About the middle of May my father died very suddenly in London from 
hear't failure, when he was recovering from a very slight attack of bronchitis. 
And the very day that his doctor had pronounced him out of danger. 
Previous to this Mrs. Piper (as Dr. Phinuit) had told me that she would 
endeavour to influence my father about certain matters connected with his 
will before he died. Two days after I received the cable announcing his 
deatli my wife and I went to see Mrs. Piper, and she [Phinuit] sjjoke of his 
presence, and his sudden arrival in the spirit-world, and said that he (Dr. 

Observations of . Certain Phenomena of Trance. 121 

Phinuit) had endeavoured to persuade him in tliose matters while my father 
was sick. Dr. Phinuit tokl me the state of the will, and described the 
principal executor, and said that lie (the executor) would make a certain 
disposition in my favour, subject to the consent of the two other executors, 
when I got to London, Eng. Three weeks afterwards I arrived in London ; 
found the principal executor to be the man Dr. Phinuit had desci'ibed. The 
will went materially as he had stated. The disj^osition was made in my 
fa\'our, and my sister, who was chiefly at my father's bedside the last three 
days of his life, told me that he had repeatedly complained of the presence 
of an old man at the foot of his bed, who annoyed him by discussing his 
private affairs. 

The second instance I would give you is as follows : — 

Dr. Phinuit stated tliat I would receive a professional offer within two 
weeks, by letter, to my present address, with the name of the manager's firm 
on the left hand corner of the envelope, and (as far as I could understand him) 
either from a man named French, or else from a Frenchman. Within the 
time stated the letter came, answering to the description of its appearance, 
and to this address, but the off'er was from a Frenchman. 

The third is as follows : — 

Dr. Phinuit stated on one occasion that some relative was suffering at that 
time from a sore or wounded thumb. We knew of no one at the time, and 
thought this would be a good test. A few days afterwards we went to my 
wife's grandmother's to dinner, and we asked our aunt how all the family 
were, and particularly if she knew anyone who had a swollen or sore thumb. 
She said, "No." Shortly after this conversation my aunt stated that she 
liad received a letter from cousins in Philadelphia. My wife asked how they 
were, and particularly for a certain cousin Jennie. " Oh, by-the-bye, " was 
the reply, " Jennie has had a little accident ; she has injured her thumb in 
some machine." 

I chose these three instances for their simplicity, and I liope they will be 
<jf service to you. My wife, as a rule, attended my sittings with Mrs. Piper, 
and can attest these facts. I cannot be sure of any other I can call upon to 
support my testimony. I have certainly mentioned certain foretellings to 
others before they became facts, but I cannot recall to wliom I have done so, as 
these matters have chiefly concerned myself and my wife. I leave it to your 
good taste to print nothing that will identify me or my family with any 
publication you may issue, either at your meetings or in the papers. I can 
also say that Dr. Phinuit cured me, or apparently did so, by a prescription 
sent me by Mrs. Piper, of an internal trouble from which I liad suff'ered for 
eighteen months. 


I hereby corroborate the above statements. 

["Mfis. M. N."] 

35. Mr. and Mrs. T. About June, 1888. 
[From Mrs. T. Detroit, June 3rd, 1889.] 
In response to the request contained in your note of May 27th, I will 
give you as full an account as possible, knowing that you desire the facts for 
scientific reasons ahjne. 


Mr. JR. Hodgson. 

Mr. T. or myself had never seen Mrs. Pijier, but we had heard of your 
Society, and that you used her mediumistic jjovver for the purposes of inves- 
tigation. For that one reason, and tliat alone, I had sufficient confidence to- 
wish to consult her. I am not a believer in the generally so-called medium, 
and previous to our visit to Mrs. P. had been an absolute sceptic. We were 
visiting in Taunton ; took the early train to Boston, and left on the 3 p.m. 
train for Detroit. We reached Mrs. Piper's shortly after 9 a.m. She was 
an absolute stranger to us, as we were strangers to her, meeting her then for 
the first time. My husband introduced himself and me as Mr. and Mrs. T., 
and requested a sitting, which she declined to give, having an appointment 
at 9.30. We were urgent for the sitting, and she yielded sufficiently to say that 
if we desired to wait, and the parties failed to keep the appointment, she 
would give us the time. We waited and secured the sitting. Nothing was- 
aid of ourselves — we were there to test her power. I had lost a very dear 
aunt in November, and my loved father had gone on in May. Grief- 
stricken under the double bereavement, I was soul-hungry for some word — 
if word or sign were possible. Mrs. P. could not know of this, for we do 
not believe in mourning robes, and I wore not a particle of black. 

You can, therefore, imagine my astonishment when, after Mrs. P. was 
under control, and the greeting by the little French doctor (the voice was 
that of a brisk old man and a foreigner ; he introduced himself as Dr. 
Findlay, or such a name ; said he was French), we were greeted by our 
Christian names of Frank and Mary, and told there was a lady there who 
was so glad to see us and wanted to speak with us ; her name was Mary — 
(hesitating on the surname, but giving it correctly). "She is not strong 
yet, and will speak to you through me. Slie left you so suddenly — she 
scarcely realised it, and it was a great grief to her to leave her children. 
She is still weak, but is gaining strength. She knows now it was all for 
the best. She asks, ' How are my dear children, Mary 1 Don't let them 
forget me. I want them to feel I am ever near them, and tell Cyrenius 
(her husband) not to grieve so — that all is well, and that the babe is with 
me and our other children. Tell him I could not be reconciled to it at first, 
but now I know it is best, and I am happy here. I have tried so hard to 
make myself known to you at home, but could not. I am often there, and 
see the home life going on, and see your care of them . Mary — and you, 
Frank — you were so kind and thoughtful, and I love and thank you both. 
Oh, Mary ! I've seen my own dear mother's face and been with her ; and 
you know, Mary, how I have longed to know her," &c. I then asked, Did 
you want me to stay with the children, aunt Mary? "That has been part 
of my happiness here." 

The doctor then said, "The lady is tired and must rest awhile." He 
described her perfectly, even to a peculiar motion of the hand, and spoke of 
much pertaining to the home and of persons in my husband's family and my 
own, calling each one by Christian name — describing them or saying some- 
tliing of each one — of at least fifteen or twenty individuals. He spoke so 
rapidly, and of so many, I became confused, and from surprise was dumb- 
foundered. Then he said, ' ' Here comes a gentleman who wants to speak to 
you. He is hurrying and motioning to me. Why, what's the matter with 
him ? He is lame — the left leg is drawn up as if from rheumatism." (My 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 123- 

father slipped on the ice six weeks before his death, and had broken his left 
leg below the hip ; the bone did not knit, and it was several inches shorter 
than the right.) "It's your father, Frank." " No, not my father," said my 
husband. " T tell you it is your father. " " It is my father, " said I. "Well, 
it is your father any way. " Then came the greeting from my father and a 
description of the life there, and of his first day there, and that his only 
unhappiness was that he could not tell me how well it was with him. He had 
found so many of his friends there — his father and mother and my mother. 
He spoke of the home here and of my step-mother, and of much known to 
him alone. He spoke of the life at some length and in words and manner 
peculiar to himself. My father had been a great student, with an intense 
love of books, and always expressed his thoughts with a piquant, caustic^ 
ready eloquence, as rare as it was peculiar to himself. Anyone wlio had. 
ever heard my father speak could not mistake the beautiful and rounded, 
phraseology of his address to us. It could be no one but my father. 

Dr. F. then said the old gentleman was weary and must rest, but he was- 
so glad to have seen us. Dr. F. then spoke of my sisters and others, 
and of circumstances about us, and asked if we had any questions. I had 
received so much more than I had anticijjated that I could think of no 
question to ask. I must have time to think it all over. What did it 
mean ? It could not be mental transference. Dr. F. had talked raj^idly 
and steadily for more than an hour without the slightest hesitation, and of 
persons and things soine of whom were far from our thoughts. 

All of the foregoing that I have written, as given us, was true in every 
particular. I cannot explain it in any material way. 

Mary E. T. 

[From Mr. T.] 

Detroit, June 12th, 1889. 

As you request a statement from me, I will answer the items in your 
letter instead of my wife. 

On our way to Taunton, a year ago, we stopped in Boston a few hours- 
and called at Mrs. Piper's house, hoping for a sitting. She was out, and I 
left a card with my name signed, as it will be at the end of this letter, 
asking her to name an hour she would give us during the coming week. The 
name was written hastily with a lead pencil, and in an awkward position 
while standing at the door. I did not hear from her, so on our return to 
Boston, on our way home, we called on her again. She said she had not 
been able to read my name and therefore had not answered the note. We 
waited a long time for otliers to come who had engaged the time, talking 
more or less on general subjects. I told her my surname and that we lived 
in Detroit, but notliing more. From the initial F. she might have guessed 
that my name was Frank, but she could not have gotten at it in any otlier 
way. My wife's first name she could not have known, as we were careful 
not to address each other before the sitting by our given names. Almost 
the first words, if not the first ones, after .she went into the trance state, 
were " Frank and Mary, I am glad to see you." During the sitting she 
mentioned fully twenty relatives and friends, all but one or two of whose 
names were given without mistake, and most of them without hesitation. 
The name of Cyrenius troubled her, but was given finally without our hel p.. 


Mo\ R. Hodgson. 

Mary Newcomb — tlie name you ask for — she also stumbled over somewhat. 
The point that made the strongest imjjression on both of us was the message 
that came from my wife's father. He was a man of strong personality, and 
many peculiarities of speech. The message seemed as though he were 
speaking, and in nearly his natural voice ; it was so natural that we both 
were startled. 

F. N. T. 

3G. 3Iiss Lilhoi Whltiiuj. Jannanj Wi, 1889. 

[Appointment made by R. H., but Miss Whiting had made one or two 
previous attempts to have a sitting with Mrs. Piper, to whom lier name was 

The Brunswick, Boston, January btli, 1889. 

My sitting with Mrs. Piper yesterday was one of curious and satisfactory 
interest. As a test I asked her to describe my rooms at the Brunswick. This 
was done in several particulars. One thing described was a photograph of 
the novelist, Edgar Fawcett. "What does that man do 1 " I inquired, 
"lie writes books," was the reply. In my room are several pictures of 
Miss Kate Field. This was noted by the medium as "so many pictures of 
one lady — oh, a great many I " "Tell me about that lady," I said. " )She 
appears before the public in some way. Yes, I see ! she lectures. She has 
a very strong intellect — a brilliant mind. One of these pictures I do not 
like. It is not good of her. You should jjut it away. Turn the back to the 
wall." [This is true ; the largest picture I have of Miss Field being one that 
does her injustice.] 

The projihecy was made that I should go abroad within a year to remain 
indefinitely, and that hereafter my life would be spent mainly in England. 
The place was described ; a country estate, north of London. We can see 
wliether this will be verified. At tliis time nothing could seem more 
imi^robable and all but impossible to me. This I said to the medium, stating 
that I had not money enijugh to dream of doing such a thing, but she replied 
that it would come. 

My writing methods and many personal details were correctly given. 

Lilian Whiting. 

Jnhj 1th, 1890. 

Glancing at the proof copy of the aljove, for which I am greatly indebted 
to your courtesy, may I add that the prophecy of my going abroad has not 
been fulfilled ; but that circumstances occurred, after my sitting with Mrs. 
Piper, which were entirely undreamed of by me previously, and which 
would have resulted in almost a literal fulfilment of the proj^hecy, only pre- 
vented by an equally inilooked-for event '? That is, the prophecy nearlj' 
approached completion, but did not reach it. 

I had a subsequent sitting for a friend — with a lock of hair and regarding 
an illness. Mrs. Piper described the person more vividly than I could have 
done, and prescribed a medicine that proved highly efficacious. 

Lilian Whiting. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena, of Trance. 125' 

37. Mr."C.B." May 3rd, 18S9. 

Mr. " C. D.," a student of psychology, went to Mrs. Piper under an 
assumed name. He recorded the sitting immediately afterwards, and it was a. 
very successful one on the whole, many correct statements being made about 
Mr. " C. D.," his family, and acquaintances, — all matters known to Mr, 
" C. D. " There were a few mistakes, and some attempts at prophecy which 
v/ere failures. 

38. Dr. a L . October 31.rf, 1889. 

[Appointment made by me. But I believe that Dr. L had called 

on Mi's. Piper previously, and had given his name. — R. H.] 

Boston, November 9th, 1889. 

I saw Mrs. Piper October 31st. She did not know me before. 

She reminded me of an accident by which I, as a seven-year-old boy, was 
very nearly drowned. It is very seldom that my thoughts occupy themselves 
witli the incident. I did not at the time fully realise the danger. 

The trance person and I spoke French two or three times during the 
sitting. He did not seem to be desirous of talking it a long time. He 
would very soon translate my answer into English, and then go on in 

Asked if he could tell me which gentlemen I had dined with the previous 
day, he described both of them in a surprisingly accurate way, their appear- 
ance as well as their character. 

He told me how many we were at home, described my sister, and gave 
even her name, Marie. She is in Norway. 

He saw me surrovmded by books and papers. 

He told me that my strmiach and nervous system had been broken do'wn, 
and described my illness at the time very well. 

I have been trying to press my brain for more, but I think this is about 
all of any imjiortance that residted of the sitting. 

C L . 

November 20th. 

In conversation Dr. L told me that Mrs. Piper in trance said nothing 

that was incorrect. 

R. H. 

39. Mrs. G. H. Bnncne. 

[March 5th, 1891.] 
Mrs. Browne {nee Webster) wrote her account early in March, 1891. Her 
first sitting was about July 22nd, 1886. I abridge her statements. 

"Mrs. D ,who sewed almost daily at the house of Mr. R , wliere I 

lived, had told me the story (No. 28, from Miss E. R. Webster) whicli I sent 
you, and also that Professor James was interested in Mrs. P. and Miss 

R , ' Cora, ' and I determined to go to her. No one but Miss R. 's 

sister knew our intention." Mrs. Piper consented to sit for one of them and 
Mrs. Browne took the sitting. 

' ' The first words she uttered in her ' trance voice ' were : ' It is Dr. 
Finnee ' (I spell it as she pronounced it, the accent was decidedly on the 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

last syllable, )mt the ' e ' was not the French one), ' who is talking to 
jou.' I did not understand and she repeated it twice, always the same 

Phinuit talked about " Otto,' who was in Euroije at the time, and 

called him Her-r-r , and said : "You will marry in two and a-half years. 

You will marry Herr." [I was married in a little more than three years, but 
not to Herr.] Phinuit descrilied two other men and gave their names 
correctly, George and Fred. He called Mrs. Browne Elmily from the first, 
and kept apologising for mispronouncing it ; Emily being her first name. 

"The next day, after my first sitting. Miss R. went to see her, but got 
nothing new, I believe." 

The second sitting was probably in tlie fall of 1886. Phinuit g(3t the 
name " Oscar Zinkeisen," known to Mrs. Browne, but wrongly said that he 
was older than she was. 

Phinuit spoke of a man named " Frank Tarbelle." He was an acquaint- 
ance of " Cora's," and Mrs. Browne had never met liim. 

"In fact, much of what Mrs. Piper said tome was exactly the sort of 
thing one might dream ; queer mixtures of things perfectly natural, and 
things too silly to repeat ; slight suggestions magnified, and constant reitera- 
tion of points which took her fancy ; astonishing accuracy in much, and 
very little that could be shown to be absolutely wrong." 

' ' I have not the slightest recollection of the date of my third sitting. I 
think, however, it was four years ago next spring. Mrs. P. sat for both 
Miss R. and me. 

"We took the hair of two friends. " Cora " had both in one compartment 
of her purse, and when she gave the first lock to Mrs. P. the latter com- 
]ilained tliat it had been with other hair which she demanded, saying she 
could make nothing out of lock No. 1. On receiving lock No. 2 she imme- 
diately described tlie original of No. 1, giving an estimate of his character 
entirely coinciding witli mine. Wliile she was pressing these locks to her 
forehead, she seized my hand and held it forcibly (part of tlie time to her 
forehead) wliile she described the owners of the locks. I have forgotten 
wliether she told the name of lock No. 1, but No. 2 — whom she described 
most fully — was "Bertram Ellis. ' You will notice that she mentioned him in 
Mr. Browne's sitting. I am very certain that she spoke of him the first or 
second time I went, though I find nothing of it in the notes I took. Mr. 
Ellis was a friend of Mr. Browne's, and a man whose distinguishing 
characteristics were very easy to desciibe. It was evident that his influence 
was the stronger of the two. 

Emily W. Browne. 

40. Mr. J. i^of/ci-.s 7^ /<•/(. • ■ ' - 

Tlio following report lias been made from contemjjorary notes of the sit- 
tings. On the day of eacli sitting I made notes in my diary of all tlie important 
points. There was much repetition at my sittings, and a few other matters 
were referred to, especially concerning tlie landing of my ancestors in 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 127 

America, which I have not liad the opportunity yet either to prove or 

Having fre([uently lieard of tlie remarkable things said to be done by Mrs. 
Piper, I finally persviaded myself to call on her. I had always had a dislike 
for any "mediums" or "spiritualists" of every kind, but on meeting this 
woman I was at once attracted to her by the simple and sympathetic manner 
which she showed on greeting me, and I felt a delicacy about making 
fin appointment for a sitting, she seeming to me too gentle and refined for a 
business of this sort. I was at once struck with the peculiar light, or inward 
look, in her eyes. Her voice was full and agreeable, but in every way a 
" feminine " voice, and there was an entire absence of any masculinity in her 
manner, which I had been expecting to find under the circumstances. 

My first sittnig with her was on September 6th, 1888. With little 
trouble she went into the trance — a state which was entirely new to my 
exi^erience — and after a moment's silence, which followed her rather violent 
movements, I was startled by the remarkable change in her voice — an 
exclamation, a sort of grunt of satisfaction, as if the person had reached liis 
destination and gave vent to his pleasure thereat by this sound, uttered in 
an unmistakably male voice, but rather husky. I was at once addressed in 
Frencli with, " Bonjour, Monsieur, comment vous portez vous ? " to 
which I gave answer in the same language, with which I happen to he 
perfectly familiar. My answer was responded to witli a sort of inquiring 
grunt, much like the French " Hein 1 " and then the conversation 
continued in English, with rarely a French word, and more rarely a 
French expression coming into it. Nearly all my interviews were begun 
in the same manner. I had given no means of identification, and simply 
awaited results. At the time I made my first visits to Mrs. Piper I was 
quite unwell with nervous troubles, for which I had been under treatment 
"by a noted specialist. The first thing told me was of a " great light behind 
me, a good sign," &c. Then suddenly all my ills were very clearly and dis- 
tinctly explained and so thoroughly that I felt certain that Mrs. Piper 
herself would have hesitated to use such plain language ! Prescrijjtions 
were given to me for the purchase of herbs, and the manner of preparing 
them, which I was to do myself. I speak of this now, as I shall have 
occasion to refer to it farther on. My profession (painting) was described, 
and my particular talents and mannerisms in design were mentioned. I was 
surrounded with pictures — "Oh 1 pictures everywhere I " At this interview 
my mother was clearly described ! She was " beside me, dressed as in her 
portrait (painted a year or two before her death), and wearing a certain cameo 
pin, the portrait of my father." Two living aunts, who are very dear to me, 
my brother and his wife "Nellie" weve well descrilied, and in svich a way 
as to have made it impossible for Mrs. Piper to have so minutely informed 
herself about them. 

Second Sitting, on October 5tli. — Mention was made of an old friend whom 
I had lost sight of for a long time, last hearing of him in a mining camp in 
Southern California. He ("Dr. Phinuit ") suddenly said: "You will hear 
in a few months from Lennox — you call him ' Frank.' He is doing well and 
is prosperous." On my asking where he was, if still in California, he said, 
" No," but had " gone across water to Al — Aul — Aula — how you call that ? " 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

I suggested " Australia," which seemed to puzzle the good "Doctor" for he 
doubted the name, hesitated, but finally said, "Yes, Australia." Within a 
year afterwards I received very unexpectedly a letter from this friend, then 
in Florida, saying that he had been mining in Alaska and met with some 
success and was at the moment of writing doing better than ever before. At 
this sitting the "Doctor" told me of my niece being fi-equently "in my 
surroundings," and that she was then at my side. Up to this time I had not 
heard my name mentioned so I asked of it from my niece. The " Doctor " was 
again puzzled and said, "What a funny name — wait, I cannot go so fast ! 
Then my entire name was correctly spelled out but entirely with the French 
alphabet, each separate letter being clearly pronounced in that language. 
My niece had heen born, lived most of her short life, and died in France. 
Then the attempt to pronounce my name was amusing — finally calling me 
"Thames Rowghearce Reach." The " Doctor " never called me after that 
anything but " Reach." I speak hereof the pronunciation of my name as 
I will later on refer to it again. Was told of the arrival in this country of my 
paternal ancestors from Scotland in the middle of the last century, and the 
family name was correctly given as Richie, but I have not as yet verified the 
accounts of their settling here as the "Doctor" gave me, and which differ 
much from family traditions. On placing in Mrs. Piper's hands the marriage 
register of my grandfather, she gave a veiy minute description of it, although 
she could not possibly have seen it or its contents. Phinuit said there were 
lots of people's names — it was a marriage — a blood-relation — my grandfather 
and grandmother. This was all correct ; the certificate was of a Quaker 
marriage, and signed by a large number of persons. 

November 8th, 1888. — My sitting on this date was quite remarkable. A 
friend's sister had met with a loss hy fire, and wished to see what could be 
done towards tracing the incendiary. This lady had a habit of colouring or 
bleaching her hair, of whicli she had sent a lock as a test. ' ' Dr. 
Phinuit" at first refused to toucli the hair, saying that it was "dead and 
devilish!" As I knew nothing whatever of the persons connected with the 
fire, I noted down the descriptions given, which tallied perfectly with that of 
the parties suspected, as I afterwards learned. At this sitting a remarkable 
incident happened. Breaking into the run of conversation, the "Doctor" of 
a sudden said, "Hullo, here's Newell ! " (mentioning the name of a friend 
who had died some months before). "Newell" is a substitute for the real 
name. I should add that "Newell " had frequently purported to com- 
municate directly with his mother through Mrs. l^iper at previous sittings, 
but this was the first time that any intimation of his presence was given to 
me. I was totally unprepared for this, and said, "Who did you say?" The 
name was repeated with a strong foreign accent, and in the familiar voice and 
tone of the "Doctor." Then there seemed for a moment to be a mingling 
of voices as if in dispute, followed by silence and heavy breathing of the 
medium. All at once I was astonished to hear, in an entirely different tone 
and in the purest English accent, " Well, of all persons under the sun, 
Rogers Rich, what brought you here ? I'm glad to see you, old fellow ? How 
is X and Y and Z, and all the boys at the club ? " Some names were given 
which I knew of, but their owners I had never met, and so reminded my 
friend " Newell," who recalled that he followed me in college l)y some years 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 129' 

and tliat all his acquaintances were younger than I. I remarked an odd 
movement of the medium while under this influence ; she apparently waa 
twirling a moustache, a trick which my friend formerly practised much. 
"Newell" also told me that his cousin was then visiting his brother, a fact 
which I afterwards learned to be true. 

December 3rrf, 1888. — I had my fifth sitting with Mrs. Piper, but the result^ 
was not remarkably interesting, being mostly devoted to family affairs and 
certain friends who were perfectly described. All this time I had been u.sing 
the medicines given me by the " Doctor," and generally with the best results. 
At this sitting he changed the prescrij^tion. 

December 2dth, 1888. — This sitting, similar to my last one, was interesting 
in its relation to private family affairs, and some remarkable descriptions o 

Januar]! ^Ist, 1889. — My seventh sitting was amusing in one thing. I 
had been following the treatment prescribed by the "Doctor," and Imd 
I)repared at my home tlie herbs, &c., according to his orders, as I thought. 
But I found that the medicine had not the effect promised and so told him. 
The answer was that it was my fault for " they were not properly prepared." 
I assured him that they were, whereat he said that "that old nigger " (refer- 
ring to a respectable coloured cook in my employ at the time) ' ' had not followed 
my directions, had used the wrong proportions, had forgotten to watch the 
cooking, and was a fool any way ! " On inquiry I found this to be the fact, 
for she had understood me to say a quart instead of a pint, and confessed to 
having fox-gotten the mixture and allowed it to boil down but ' ' thought it 
wouldn't make any difference 1 " I took a piece of embroidery made by a 
sailor while abroad on a cruise and at once " An old, wizened-up man " came 
to its influence. " Who is he ? " " Why, D. 's grandfather," giving me the 
correct name of my friend but one by which I had never known him, but 
which I only knew after an acquaintance of a year or more, ho having 
followed the sea, as usual with sailors, under an assumed name. 

March 2&th, 1889. — My eighth sitting. A test was given me by a friend 
of which I knew nothing. The article was j^laced in cotton wool within a 
box, wrapped in paper and tied with a string. The "Doctor" said he 
" could see it," and described the object fairly well, but said that if I would 
open the box he could tell just where it came from. I had no idea what was; 
in the box, and the box v/as not opened until I returned it to my friend. As 
it was, he described well my friend X, who gave me the parcel ; then he 
described his friend Y, who had given the article, the person who gave Y the 
article from " far off over the sea," and explained certain characteristics of 
these persons and their connection witli my friend X. All of these descrip- 
tions, X afterwards told me, were correct, and the article which the "Doctor"' 
described as a "cliarm," and "glittering," proved to be a beautifully carved, 
but not "glittering," button, latterly worn as a charm with a gold attach- 
ment, formerly in the possession of a noble Japanese family of great 
antiquity, and surreptitiously taken from there by a visitor and brought to 
this country. A lock of hair belonging to a friend who is quite noted for his- 
amusing self-conceit was greeted with a laugh and recognised as belonging 
to " His Royal Highness," or the " Duke B," calling him by his real name 
and attaching the titles by way of " chaff." 



Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Some prophecies were made to " occur soon," but I regret to say that the 
"Doctor's " idea of " soonness " and mine differ greatly — for they are not yet 

Jnne 3rd, 1889. — My ninth sitting. This time I asked to communicate 
with my friend " Newell," previously referred to in my fourth sitting. The 
" Doctor " said, " I'll send for liim," and hepb on talking with me for awhile. 
Then he said, "Here's Newell, and he wants to talk with you 'Reach,' so 
I'll go about my business whilst you are talking with him, and will come back 
again later." Then followed a confusion of words, but I cleai'ly heard the 
voice of the "Doctor" saying: " Here, Newell, you come by the hands while 
I go out by the feet," which aj^parently being accomplished in the proper 
manner, my name was called clearly as "Rogers, old fellow 1 " without a sign 
of accent, and the same questions put as to how were the ' ' fellows at the 
club." My liand was cordially shaken, and I remarked the same movement 
of twisting the moustache, which was kept up by Mrs. Piper during the inter- 
view. " Newell " spoke of a "pastel" which I was drawing as a wedding 
present, and described the pleasure he had in watching me do it. He told 
me of certain jjrivate family affairs which I knew to be correct. Finally he 
bade me good-bye. Before going he spoke to me of his "present life," and 
told me that he was writing a poem ; that he was now pursuing his literary 
studies with the greatest pleasure, &c., &c. "But," he said, "was I not 
sick, and did I not suffer before I left you all ? Why, the leaving of the 
material body, Rogers, is terrible. It is like tearing limb from limb ; but 
once free, how happy one is." When "Newell" left me there was the usual 
disturbance in the medium's condition, and then the resumption of the 
iimiliar voice, accent and mannerisms of Dr. Phinuit. 

Then I jjroduced a dog's collar. After some handling of it the ' ' Doctor " 
recognised it as belonging to a dog which I had once owned. I asked ' ' If 
there were dogs where he was?" "Thousands of them!" and he said he 
would try to attract the attention of my dog with this collar. In the midst 
•of our conversation he suddeidy exclaimed, "There ! I think he knows you 
are here, for I see [him] coming from away off I " He then described my collie 
perfectly, and said, " You call him. Reach," and I gave my whistle by which 
I used to call him. "Here he comes ! Oh, how he jumps! There he is now, 
jumping upon and around you. So glad to see you ! Rover ! Rover I No — 
G-rover, Grover ! That's his name ! " The dog was once called Rover, but 
liis name was changed to Grover in 1884, in honour of the election of 
Grover Cleveland. 

July 12tli, 1889. — My tenth sitting. This was of little interest outside 
of certain afiiiirs which tlie good "Doctor" talked about. I tried no tests 
iind had no experiences. 

,Tuly nth, 1889.— My eleventh sitting. The "Doctor" this time gave 
me his full name, &c., as follows : — 

"Dr. Jean Phinuit Scliville, 113 or 115, Rue Dupuytren, Paris. Ami 
•du Docteur Latimer." This was my last sitting with Mrs. Piper before she 
went to England. It was again of little or no interest to report about. 

Among other curious things told me by the " Doctor " was the following : 
A child was constantly beside me and in my surroundings. It was attracted to 
me and had much influence over me: "It is a blood relation, a sister." I 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 131 

denied tliis to have ever been a fact for I never had a sister and never lieard 
of one. The answer came : " I know that, xjou were never told of it. The 
birth was premature, the child dead, born some years before you were. Go 
and ask your aunts to prove it." On questioning an aunt who had been 
always a member of our family, I learned that such had been the case, and 
that by the time I came into the world the affair had been forgotten and 
there had never been a reason for informing me of the circumstances, 
proving that I in no way had any intimation of it, and that this communica- 
tion could not be explained by thought-transference or the like. 

Although the "prophecies" of the "Doctor "were not fulfilled at the 
time I understood him to mean as "in the spring" or "in the fall," I have 
since found several of these things come true, and in the season which he 
mentioned, but not that year in which he led me to expect them to be 

One day Mrs. Piper pointed to a plain gold ring on my finger and said : 
" C'est une alliance, how you call that 1 A wedding ring, n'est-ce pas V This 
was true. Now if Mrs. Piper had learned French at school here she would 
most probably have called this ring " un anneau de marriage," and not have 
given it the technical name "alliance." I several times carried on a short 
conversation in French, making my observations in that language and 
receiving answers in the same, but which were always curt, and ended with 
an expressed wish in broken English not ' ' to bodder about French but to 
speak in English." I made use, too, of certain slang expressions which were 
apparently perfectly understood but answered in English, though correctly. 

J. Rogers Rich. 

167, Tremont-street, Boston, Mass. 

April lUh, 1891. ■ ' . 

41. R. Hodgson. Locks of Hair. 
I knew nothing concerning the first five locks of hair, but did know 
from whom the hair came in the sixth case. The first five cases were 
complete failures. In the sixth case perhaps there is no more than can 
be accounted for by chance. I did not know to whom the hair sent to 
me in the seventh case belonged. It was sent to me from Albany, 
N.Y., wrapped, at my request, in rubber cloth. I took it out of the 
cloth before giving it to Phinuit, and saw that it was white. , 

1-5. Locks of hair sent from England, tried in March, 1888. Complete 
failures. While holding lock 5 Phinuit said : " Here's a spirit named 

J . Something very sad about it. And I can see two little boys and 

a girl here, and there's a person named Alice in the family." [This apparently 
independent of the hair. The name mentioned was the same as that in my 
second sitting. See p. 62.] 

6. June 27th, 1888. — Mother in spirit. [No.] Friend in her family 
named Joe. [No.] Sister got married, and very unhappy life. [No.] Good 
deal of intellect. Had some pain in right breast, and I think up through. 
4 this (right) jaw. [Left side.] There's four in her family, an elderly lady 
rather stout, looks like a mother-in-law. [Yes, yes.] Charles, uncle of hers. 

K 2 


Mr. li. Hodgson. 

[No.] Very nice lady, but set as the hills. Plenty of determination, will, 
intellect, and good sense. Morally, all right. Open, frank, sincere, true. 
[The preceding notes in this case were made by the lady herself, now dead. 
The descrijjtion of her character, so far as it goes, I think, is correct. I 
knew nothing of the other circumstances mentioned. — R.H.] 

7. June 10th, 1891. — There's been a friend passed out of the body. 
There's an elderly gentleman connected with this. Oh, and he's such a nice 
old fellow ! And I get John right off with tliis. There's somebody — Adams. 
Oh, I get sucli a pain in my head. Take that away quick. [Giving the hair 
back to me.] There's a relative of the old gentleman whose hair that is, who's 
insane. [Taking hair again.] He had trouble with his heart and throat. 
He couldn't hear very well. He has a daughter in the body who was very 
much devoted to him. Henry — still in the body. I'll have to take this 
another time. John calls for Henry and says : " Don't worry about Charles. 
Let him take his own course and all will be right. Don't oppose. He'll be 
better for the journey." That's not been jiassed out so very long. He was 
very fond of music. 23rd, 1891. — Oh, this is the elderly gentleman, John, that I told you 
of. There's somebody named Carter connected with this. There's very little 
influence in this. It's nearly gone. It belongs to somebody who has passed 
out of the body. 

[Mrs. S., who sent me the hair, writes as follows : — " Yes. The friend has 
passed out of the body. He was an old man of 90, and a remarkably 
genial, lovable man. John is not right. The old gentleman's name was 
William, and John is not a family name. Nor is the name of Adams right ; 
no such name that we know of. There is a relative of the old gentleman who 
has a disease at present that makes her delirious much of the time, but there's 
no insanity anywhere in the family. He died of heart failure and had a lung 
and throat trouble. Yes, he was very deaf. Yes, he has a daughter living 
who was exceeduujly devoted to him. All that about Henry, and John calling 
for Henry, and what he says has nothing to do with the old gentleman, but 
" not been passed out so very long " is true. The old gentleman died only 
the middle of last April. Yes, he was very fond of music. On the second 
date, June 23rd, there is almost nothing. John is not the right name, nor 
is there any such name as Carter connected with the family. The old 
gentleman was my grandfather, who died only two months ago. Some of the 
things were strikingly true. He was deaf, fond of nuisic, and had this one 
daughter (my mother) who was passionately devoted to him."] 

The remaining records are of sittings given by Mrs. Pij^er since her 
return from England. (See also last part of No. 41.) The greater part of 
eight sittings between May 15tli and June 25th inclusive was occupied 
by endeavours to ol>tain definite information concerning some articles fur- 
nished to me by a gentleman, whom I shall call for the present Mr. " V." 
r reserve these for later publication, partly because I wish to make some 
further experiments in connection with the matters involved in the 
articles, and partly Ijecause I wish to ascertain the result of further 
inquiries concerning the statements already made. 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 133 

42. Sitting on December- 4cth, 1890. 
The first sitting given by Mrs. Piper since her return (February, 
1890) to America was in the presence of her physician and Professor 
Wilham J ames and a stenographic reporter. Unfortunately, as I have 
already mentioned (see p. 5), her physician has refused to make any 
report whatever. An incident, however, occurred at the sitting having 
reference to some relations of Professor James, and 1 give the account 
•of it here, with additional statements in explanation. 

[Extracts from stenographic report of sitting.] 

P. : Tou are not the captain. You are William. I know you ; you are 
James. I am glad to see you. Do you know the — the — the — little one ? J. : 
Which little one ? P. : A little one, Eliza. [Makes several attempts to 
jjronounce the name ; then pronounces it correctly.] It is a little one in the 
spirit. Do you know a father named William ? J. : Of course I do ; but 
what William '? P. : He is what you call the papa. That little one that 
talked to me. J. : Does she talk to you, Eliza ? P. : She has got the 
remembrance of her papa ; do you know what I mean ? J. : Yes. P. : The 

last one she remembers is papa. She wants him to [Takes watch and 

other articles out of Mr. James's pocket. Gets knife and holds it up to head ; 
fumbles it with fingers.] J. : You want to open that ? [No answer ; makes 
motion of drawing it away.] P. : William 1 J. : Yes. P. : The last thing 
that the little one remembers is the knife ; the knife ; her paj^ji opened the 
knife. She asked him to open the knife. That is the last thing she says she 
xemembers. J. : What did she die of ? P. : [Taking hold of J.'s necktie.] 
Diphtheria. She got that of a lady. A lady came into the place that had a 
trunk. You know trunk "? Some clothes that had been tending the lady. 
J. : I see ; correct. P. : She tells me and your mother tells me that. J. : 
Is my mother with Eliza ? P. : She has got her, Emily. J. : Whose knife 
is this that you are holding ? P. : This knife is not the one. 

* * * * * 

P. : WiUiam, do you know what I mean ? You know what Eliza said ? 
That is the name, Eliza. J, : W^ho is that the name of 1 P. : That is the 
name of the one I was talking about. That is the little child. 

* * * * * 

. P. : Where is the knife 1 [J. hands knife.] P. : William, I want to ask you 
if you know this little one is very small ? Will you find out what she means 
by tlie knife ? J. : I will. P. : She says something aljout William — that is 
j)apa — to open the knife. J. : Does she want him to open it now or does she 
say that she did ? P. : She wanted him to open it, I believe ; I can't tell you 
exactly ; that is the last thing she remembers. Do you know anything about 
it ? J. : No, I don't know anything about it. P. : He took her up the last, 
do you know, and put her back again. J. : Can she tell him anything about 
w^here she now is or who with ? P. : She is with — do you know his sister ? 
J. : No, I don't. P. : Don't know Mary ? J. : No. P. : Don't know Lizzie, 
D — I — Z — Z — I — E ? There are two or three and she is with them. 

* * * * * . 

P. : Will you tell Mary that it is the lady's clothes ? J. : I will. P. : 


31r. B. Hodgson. 

Will you tell William that Eliza says she caught her dii)htheria fi'o.a tlie 
lady's clothes ? J. : That is right. 

[I think there was another slight reference to this matter, but not 

[A. M. R., Stenograjyher.l 

[Addressed to me. Dictated by W. M. Salter to his wife. — W.J.] 
516, North-avenue, Chicago, December 9th, 1890. 
Dear William, — We are greatly obliged for the account of the sitting 
with Mrs. Piper. Baby Eliza did play witli my knife, and asked me to open 
it but a sliort time before she died — indeed, it was the last show of intelligence 
tliat I distinctly remember. I have told this incident to many people, and 
the wlii^le question is wliether in any way it could have got to Mrs. Piper. 
Margaret tliinks she did not tell her, but she is not absolutely sure. If Mrs. 
Piper had not heard of it in any way it is certainly remarkable. 

[From Mr. W. M. Salter.] 

■ Chicago, Dtrem^ec 17^//, 1890. 
Dear William, — Mrs. Piper stumbled (with my assistance) on to my 
sister Mary's name a year ago in Chocorua. The first name she used then 
was " Lizzie," and who was meant I could not say. I have a living aunt whose^ 
middle name is Elizabeth, but she is never called Lizzie. " Emily " I do not 
recognise at all — have never known or lieard of an Emily in our family. If L 
could only be sure Margaret had not told Mrs. Pijjer of the knife incident 1 

Wm. Salter. 

[From Mrs. W. M. Salter.] 

Chicago, Decemhcr 17th, 1890. 
Dear William, — We were very glad to get your letter with tlie steno- 
graphic rejjort of the Piper interview. I hope that you will not object to our 
keeping it. I am ready to swear, if necessary, that I did not tell Mrs. Piper 
of the knife incident when I went to see her last October with mother. I 
recall clearly the whole interview. And, indeed, my baby's illness is some- 
tiling I can speak of to no one. Time for nre only adds to its pathos. 
■*(• * * * * 

■ ' . . Mary G. Salter. 

P.S. — I think there is small chance of Margaret's having told Mrs. Pijaer 
the incident of the knife. She says that her first impulse was to deny 
;ibsolutely having done so. Almost the whole interview was taken up witli 
Mrs. Piper's account of her Englisli experiences. Towards the close .she 
referred to Baby's death. Because Margie cannot remember just what she 
said she is unable to positively assert anything in regard to it. — Yours, 

M. G. S. 

[Statement by Professor James.] 

It seems nnlikchj that so interesting an incident as that of the knife could 
have been mentioned to Mrs. P. by Margaret G. in the few minutes' talk 
whicli she could have had about the death of "Eliza." It was more likely to 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 135 

have been mentioned to me, but if so, it has sunk to an unrecoverable part 
of my consciousness. 

Mrs. P. saw "Eliza" when at Chocorua in 1889. She saw Margaret once, 
soon after her return from England, and Mary Salter and Mrs. Gibben.s 
together once, in October last. 

■ . [W.J.] 
[Statement by Mrs. PijJer.] 

December 22nd, 1890. 
Mrs. Piper states that neither Mrs. Gibbons nor Mrs. Salter nor Miss 
Gibbens said anything whatever to her concerning any knife incident in 
connection with Eliza. Mrs. Salter made one reference only to Eliza during 
her conversation in the fall, viz. : " I thought I might get a word from Baby." 
This impressed Mrs. Pijjer because Mrs. Salter was much affected when she 
made this remark. Miss Gibbens on a prior visit talked more freely about 
Eliza and the grief which Mrs. Salter felt, but said no more about the details 
of the death than Mrs. Piper had learned in England from Mr. Glai-ke, who 
had told her that the child was dead and that the cause of death was- 
diphtheria. Mrs. Piper is not quite sure whether he said- diphtheria or 
scarlet fever. 

[R. H.] 

Mrs. Salter writes on December 27th, 1890 :— 

When I saw Mrs. Piper she talked almost exckisively about her own. 
affairs. I merely referred to my child's death when I asked her for a sitting, 
otherwise I said nothing about it. 

43. Miss Edmunds. June 1st, 1891. 
[From notes made during the sitting by Miss Edmunds.] 

[Mrs. Piper knew my name ; that I was English ; had seen me at the office 
of the S.P.R. ; and, during the conversation we had before the sitting, I had 
made a passing allusion to a nephew ; beyond these facts I think that she 
knew nothing of me. (This neiahew was not alluded to during the sitting.) 
The following account is an abridgment.] 

Phinuit stated that I had a father in spirit and mother in body, 
describing some characteristics of each one. . . . John — no, Joseph — 
Joseph. [Father and mother each had a brother named Joseph, both 
deceased.] There's one, two, three, four brothers. [True.] One, two 
passed out — little things — with their father — that's all there was of you 
passed out. [True.] .James. [Pause.] James. [Emphatically, and writes the 
name on my pad.] (I don't know any one in the family of that name.) 
Yes, you do, I know — James in body, married your aunt. (Oh, Uncle 
Henry.) [James Henry Thomas, whom we have always called " Uncle 
Henry." But father used to call him ".James Henry."] There's a little 
one, came after he [father] passed out. [True.] Al — Alice, another little 
girl. (Not Alice.) [Forgetting for tlie moment that Lillie's name is Alice 
Lilian, and that my brother usually calls her Alice and writes to her as such.] 
Yes, Alice. You call her Lil, but she's Alice ! [Phinuit enumerated the 
girls in the family correctly, giving the name " Ethel, musical," and stating 
that one was in Australia, sunmiing up :] There's yourself, one married. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

one in Australia, one that studies, one that paints, and the two little ones. 
[My older brother was wrongly said to be married. Ellen, the name of a 
little sister who died in infancy, was referred to as sending a message, and 
as being " a big girl now." Mary was mentioned and " Aunt Ellen." Mary 
and Ellen were great aunts.] 

[Here Phinuit made a sudden dart at my watchcord, and I thought of his 
" scent for trinkets " as he pulled out a heart-shaped locket made of the ser- 
pentine rocks at the Land's End, which had been in my possession since a 
cliild.] Ha I You had that a long time, since you little girl — rock — sea 
v/ashed over that. Your mother's influence comes with that — no, your 
mother's mother — your grandmother. [True.] [Takes the watch from 
the other end of the cord.] School watch ? No, you not had that so 
long as this. [Holding ujj the locket.] Ask me something else — I'll 
tell you about the watch presently. [Pause.] No, your father knows 
that, — see, I hold it up and he say, "Oh, I know that." [Phinuit 
holds up the watch as if to show it to some invisible per.son behind him.] 
He gave it to your aunt, and she gave it to you. [True.] Box, oh, box, 
he knows that I [I had taken from my pocket a little round black l)ox 
which father used to keep in his desk, full of old coins.] (What was in 
it?) [It was then emi:>ty.] Oh, I'll tell you presently. I can't hear what 
he says. [Looking over his shoulder as though listening to someone behind 
him, while I mentally said, "Coins, coins," and formed a distinct picture 
of them in my mind.] Picture, where's picture? [Working his jSnger round 
n hole in the lid where I believe at one time was a picture under glass.] 
But you don't know. He does. 

Little shiny things in box. (Chain ?) No. (Coins ?) Coins, yes, coins, 
coins, I knew! [Other names given were Uncle William (correct), Fred and 
Albert (both brothers), Jessie (sister), Carlotte (Charlotte, sister), ' ' named 
f(jr a relative on mother's side " (correct), Margaret (unrecognised), Edith 
(married sister), Fred her husband (correct), with further correct descriptions 
of character, &c.] 

L. Edmunds. 

Jidij Id, 1891. (See also No. 50, p. 154.) [Mrs. Holmes present. 
L. E. taking notes.] 

* * * * * •. 

[Once Phinuit turned to me with :] How's Catherine ? (Who is Catherine ?) 
You know — your sister — the one whose name I did not give you last time. 
[I had not mentioned to Phinuit that he had omitted to give the name of one 
sister, although I had made a note of the fact.] (I have no sister named 
Catherine.) Yes, you have. (Not Catherine, but Kate.) It's Catherine, 
that's what your father told me. (That's funny, for father disliked the name of 
Catherine, and took sfjecial pains to register the name of my sister as Kate, 
so that she should not be called Catherine.) Phinuit hei'e looked a little 
disconcerted, and mumbled, "Well, that's what he said." 

[After another interval with Mrs. Holmes, Phinuit turned to me and said :] 
You've got something here you want ine to tell you about. I'll tell you 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 137 

all about it. Hodgson gave me something with influence of yours, and I did 
not tell him right — where is it I Give it to nie again. [I gave him the book- 
mark, and wondered how he knew that he had given wrong information about 
it.] Yes, that's it. It's something to do with your .sister Editha. (No, I do 
not think she ever even saw it.) Well, you let me have it for a time, 
and I'll tell you all about it. I'll put it in my hair. 
This mark has something to do with school-friend. (No.) No, not 
exactly that, but I see something about school about it. It's something 
to do with somebody that was under you — someone that you had to teach. 
There's an influence comes with it — a little girl — rather pretty. Light hair 
and dark eyes — bright. You had something to do with teaching her. Nice 
little girl. She seems to recognise this. She's passed out of the body. You 
heard from her when she was ill. [All true.] There's another influence comes 
with it — not her brother, but she was very fond of him. She called him cousin 
— Gideon — he's in Australia. [It is not known where he is now.] He is 
erratic, but he is doing well, ph ysically [laying great stress on the last word]. 
He has not passed out. He will return. Ella — Elma — Emly — Ehnly — Oh, 
what is it ? Emily — no, Emma — Maria sends her love to Emma — do you 
undei'stand ? Maria sends her love to Ennna, and says she is often with her. 
Emma is not well — not at all well — not happy. [Maria was the little girl's 
name ; Emma is the mother's name, and Gideon the name of her nephew, 
whose whereabouts is not at present known.] 

[Note by R. H.] 

At a sitting on June 25th, I gave Phinuit the bookmark, which Miss 
Edmunds had carefully wrapped up between two pieces of plain card. I 
knew nothing of the history of tlie bookmark. My notes are as follow : — 

" [Phinuit asks me to read it.] A little faint influence about the young 
lady with you. Didn't she wrap them uj) ? (Yes, I think so.) Fleshy lady 
connected with this in body. It was given to her mother as a bookmark. 
This has been in some book like a Bible tiling, and it looks like I get the 
influence Margaret. There's also Edith. There's an influence here of a 
lady that's fond of her brother — Miss Edmunds' brother. . . . This't so much of her influence as Edith's. I think Edith made it. (Is 
Edith in the body?) Oui. Isn't Miss Ednmnds funny? She's handled this, 
hasn't she ? She put it there [indicating between cards], and I get all her 
influences come back with it. This came across water originally. These 
[cards] were handled more by her than tliis [mark], and the mark has been 
handled more by the person who made it than by anybody else." 

On my return from the sitting, Miss Edmunds informed me that the 
statements about the bookmark itself were incorrect. I did not see Mrs. 
Piper again until after the sitting of July 1st. 

Juhj Gth, 1891. (See also No. 51, p. 155.) 

[At the sitting on July 6th, besides giving information concerning some 
tests which I had brought with me, Phinuit gave messages "from father," 
and stated that :] Your mother has been having pains in her head. She's 
gone from the place where I saw her first. [I was then myself under the 
impression that mother was visiting my sister, but (October 2nd) I have just 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

heard that she made that visit in September.] [Remarks about my sister 
Ethel.] There are two children just alike in spirit — they were twins [true] — 
with your father now. Tliere are two Charlottes, sister and aunt. [True, 
and Phinuit makes a prophecy concerning my sister Charlotte.] [Messages 
to my brother Albert.] You are going to visit Albert soon. I see you in his 
surroundings. Tliere will be a change for him soon after that. [Then, 
breakiiig off :] You take this as a test from me — your mother has had a falL 
She has slipped and hurt her foot. Now you remember that I said so. 
[December, 1891. — My mother had no fall.] You are going into the 
country and also near water — three different places. To the water with 
a lady, Mrs. Holmes. I see you with her by the water. And you'll also go 
to a country place where there are children and mountains — a mountainous 
place — and you'll see your brother last of all. [Ocfoher 2)1(1. — I had then 
just received an invitation from Mrs. Holmes to spend a week with her at 
the seaside, but I had not mentioned the fact either to Phinuit or Mrs. 
Pilfer, and Mrs. Holmes said that slie had not mentioned it. I also have 
visited "the mountainous place wliere there were children," and am hoping 
.soon to visit my l)r(jther (as she did. — R.H.), but all these circumstances, 
were previously known to me and I expected each event to happen 
in the order wliich Phinuit described.] [Mention was also made in this 
sitting of a younger brother, and his name given without effort — Martin.J 

L. Edmunds. 

44. Mr.i. C. June 19th, 1891. 

[Mrs. C. liad a sitting alone with Mrs. Piper in 1889. Of this no record 
was made. Little mention of her husband was made in that sitting, which 
was chiefly occujjied by the subject of her daughter's ill-health. Mrs. C. 
lives in New York, and I believe that her name was unknown to Mrs. Pijjer. 
I was sent out of the room early in the sitting, and could hear only frag- 
ments of the conversation after this. At the close of the sitting Mrs. C. 
gave an account which I took down at the time. I abridge this account, and 
embody tlie information since received from Mrs. C. The names mentioned 
during tlie sitting have been changed to others in the record at the request 
of Mrs. C. I made the appointments for both sittings. — R.H.] 

[Re fountain pen.] This Ijrings John in the spirit. John the son in body. 
[Correct. ] Phinuit described a little elderly lady, nervous, in my surround- 
ings, and said slie wouldn't live long. This suggests my sister, who is never 
in very good health. [An aunt living in New York, aged 76, not nervous, 
death not anticipated for several years, began to fail about .June 20th, and 
died July 10th.] 

He said I would get a letter h-om my brother very shortly. [Not true.] 
He said there was a stick witli a funny handle, marks on it, a walking- 
stick, that belonged to an old gentleman, grandfather, my father, who had it 
when in the body, and that he wanted me to have it. that Sis has it and that 
I must ask for it. [The sister writes that there is a walking-stick used by 
her father. It has not a crook handle, but a knob.] 

The names Anderson or Andrews and Flack were given [not recognised]. 
He kept feeling about me and said : "You have something about you belonging 
to him " [my husband]. Felt my ring and said : " Oh, he gave you that many 

Ohsei'vations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 13^ 

yeai's ago." After searching about and touching various objects, he said :■ 
" You've got my watch." I took it out. He said : " Your husband says it's- 
his watch, but it's not his cliain." This was correct. I had broken my own 
watch about a month before, and since then have carried his watch, but had 
taken off his chain and put my own chain on. Until the watch was men- 
tioned I had entirely forgotten that I had it. 

Phinuit said that I had a bad time with my teeth a while ago, and that 
my husband was with me [i.e., in si^iiit] when I had them extracted. I had 
two teeth extracted under gas a niontli or six weeks ago. 

References were made to a document, which made it clear that a cer- 
tain insurance paper was intended. This I was requested to publish, on 
the ground that it would be of benefit to myself and a satisfaction to my 
husband who would then feel that justice was done. The circumstances 
connected with this document, wliich are too private to be mentioned in this 
report, concerned a matter which was of the most vital interest to my 
husband. It is the very matter he would be most likely to speak of if he 
were actually in communication with me. Some specific advice was given 
about the publication of this document. [This advice j^roved upon inquiry 
to be irrelevant.] 

A correct statement was made about the unfortunate sale of some of my 
property. Hem-y was correctly given as the first name of the man who- 
defrauded me. 

A prophecy made that Mrs. C. would be out of her difficulties "when 
snow came " was not fulfilled. 


[At a sitting on July 8th, Phinuit said : ] "John's lady feeling particularly 
blue to-day. I think this is the day John passed out of the body. I hear 
this from John himself." 

Mrs. C. writes on July 10th : — 

"Your note of the 8th is just received. I am sorry to say that Phinuit 
is 'mixed' in his facts, as the date of my husband's death was June 18th, the 
day before our sitting with Mrs. Piper. During the 8th, at the time you had 
this sitting, I was not particularly 'blue,' and there was nothing uniisualhj 
depressing in any way, but I had a bad headache, and was feeling generally 
tired and miserable ; but the condition was more physical than mental. 

Sittings 45-50. 

When I was in New York early in May, 1891, Mrs. Julia Sadler 
Holmes, a member of our Society, gave me, at my request, two locks 
of her hair for experiments with Mrs. Piper ; but I had not explained to 
her that Phinuit prefers locks cut close to the head, and I found 
later that these two pieces had been cut several inches away. 

On May 21st, 1891, at the end of a sitting where Phinuit had been 
describing the influences of other articles (sent to me by Mr. V. ), I gave 
him one of the two locks which I had first recei\-ed from Mrs. Holmes. 
Phinuit said : " I've seen this influence before. This came from across- 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

the water. Relative of this person across the water. Her name spells 
with an ' E.' (No.) The influences are all mixed." And he declined 
to do anything further with it. 

Being aware that Miss R. Avas to have a sitting on May 23rd, I 
placed the second of the two locks in a clean envelope, different from 
those which I am in the habit of using, and requested Miss R. to give 
it to Phinuit during the course of the sitting. She did so, and Phinuit 
at once said that 7ny influence was on the envelope, that the hair was 
the " same influence " as that which I had recently given him, that he 
got the name Esther with it, but that it had very little " influence " 
about it, and he wanted a " better " piece. During a sitting which I 
had on May 25th, Phinuit referred to this incident, and repeated that he 
wanted a " better " piece of hair, but did not mention the name Esther. 
I wrote to Mrs. Holmes on the subject and requested her to send me 
another lock of hair cut close to the head, and some article of dress, 
such as a collar, which had come much in contact with the skin (Phinuit 
claiming that such objects had "influence"), and she sent me a "veritable 
scalp-lock," and a piece of libbon which she had worn round her neck. 
I gave these to Phinuit on June 5th. In this and in the two follow- 
ing sittings with the articles received from Mrs. Holmes, the notes were 
taken by me during the sitting, and copies of them forwarded to Mrs. 
Holmes. The remarks in square Ijrackets (except where otherwise 
specified) were either interpolated by Mrs. Holmes herself oi' incor- 
j3orated by me from her letters in answer to my inquiries. 

45. Sitting on Jvne 5th, 1891. 
[Last part of sitting.] 

He Hair. 

Ha ! that's in the body. That's the same influence I had before, but that's 
a better piece. She's thinking about going away. [Yes.] She's had con- 
»siderable sorrow. [Yes.] Lady relative of hers passed out in last year. 
|Yes, Emma Holmes.] She's done a great deal of good. She's a nice lady, 
a lady who has a great deal of firmness of character. She doesn't tell all her 
sorrows to others. You ask her how 3Irs. French is. [My mother has a 
■cousin Soph. French, or it may be Phinuit sees Mrs. French, the medium, 
wliose circles I liave been attending recently.] And there's somebody con- 
nected with her Ijy the name of Anna [Mrs. Holmes had recently made 
the acquaintance, through me, of Dr. Anna Lukens. — R.H.], and James in the 
body. There's a gentleman in her surroundings and he's kind of cranky. 
[Yes.] His name is William. [No.] She's changed her home within a year 
•or two. [Yes.] She's a briglit lady, mighty deep, though ; nervous, too ; 
has some trouble with her stomach. [Yes.] She liad something the matter 
with her foot. [No, son's foot.] Had to have something done to it not 
long since. Somebody connected with it hy the name of Harris, and Fred. 
£Yes, Harry and Fred.] 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 141 

Ee Bihbo'ii. 

Same influence. Her hair is grey and black, mixed, and she dresses it 
very prettily, and she goes near the water very often, and she writes some- 
times quite nicely. Lady's mother — Auntie called Eliza — Elzie — Eliza is not 
right, but something like it. She wants to know about Mamie. [See next 
sitting.— R.H.] Who's Cooper? ¥/ho's Miss Roberts ? And Miss Davis ? 
A little sister passed out of the body quite a number of years ago. [Yes, a 
sister died in babyhood. Recognise Cooper, Roberts, Davis. " Lady's 
mother " (mother-in-law) in spirit life is named Elizabeth. I know also a 
lady, called "Aunt Eliza" in my childhood, aunt by marriage. She is still 
living, however.] 

[Fvftlici- comments.] 

[In the envelope which brought the "ribbon" and hair was enclosed a 
letter from Mrs. Holmes's son, Harry, in which he refers to the cutting of 
his foot accidentally, and its being "fixed up" by a doctor. This letter is. 
dated May 9th, 1891. — R.H.] [His letter (Hariy's) was brought to me from 
New York by my son Fred. It was sent originally to the inan who is 
" cran/:;/, " who forwai'ded it from B. The cranky man is associated with a 
geologist named Davis, who located some lead and silver mines near B. and 
then ran off with the secret. We have been quite excited with this Davis, 
who has now returned to B. Mrs. Piper caught all this from Harry's 
letter, which had probably been carried in the cranky man's pocket. The 
only mistake she made was in the colour of my hair — it was never black, but 
shaded from a brown to a gold. Curiously, what she handled she could 
not see, and the cut foot in Montana was shown to her as mine. Possibly 
because this son Harry (not Harris) is nearer to me than any other living- 


Closely connected with this Southern business is one James Roberts, a 

friend of the K family. Fortunes hang upon his honesty and ability. I 

think the Miss Roberts and the Miss Davis are undoubtedly these two 
gentlemen. The Coopers are all related, and associated socially and 
financially with James Roberts, the K 's, and the '■'cranhj" man.] 

46. Sitting on June 10th, 1891. 

Ee Hair and Eibbou. 

There's somebody connected with this named Vaughn. [Yes.] And 
Mamie. [About that Vaiiglm. He committed suicide. ... If the 
name were Marde, it would fi.t the situation just now, as the Manie K. 
(sister-in-law to my daughter) ... is constantly on our lips.] 

-Re Strip of Velvet. [Since the previous sitting I had received from Mrs. 
Holmes a strip of velvet which she had worn.] 

Same influence. She lives out a little way. [Mrs. Holmes lives in a, 
suburb of New York.] There's a big vine [No, a tree in blossom] round the 
end of the house where she is, on the right as you go in. She's a very nice 
lady. Who's Emily? [My sister who died in babyhood.] (I don't know.) 
Well, she knows who she is. . . . She's got a mother, a father, and a- 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Ijrother in spirit. [Yes. Not mother, but mother-in-law.] Either the 
father or the brother is named William. [It's the brother. His name was 
William Henry Harrison Sadler. I generally called him Henry.] There's 
somebody named French connected with her. [Yes.] She takes me to New 
York. [Yes.] (How do you know it's New York ?) I can see N. Y. I see 
a desk, and a piece of statuary stands at the end of the desk, and I see a 
letter on it witli N. Y. at the top. [The desk had ornaments, but no statue. 
There are two bronze statues, however, on a bookcase near.] The letter 
begins : " My dear Lucy." She has a friend jiamed Jones. [Yes. Who 
hasn't?] . . Emerson. [Not recognised.] You ask her if she didn't 
liave an aunt named Caroline or Katherine in sj^irit. [Yes, we called her 
Auntie Mason.] [See Notes to next Sittings, No. 47. — R.H.] And there's 
Doctor Somebody here. (Who ? Can you get his name ?) [Doctor un- 
known.] It's in the surroundings of a doctor. I think this lady had a sister 
who went across the water some time ago. I don't think joxi know this. 
[No, I went myself.] ... I see a letter on the desk : — 

June 2, 1891. 

My Dear Lucy, — 

Will go to-morrow evening : 
if possible. In case you do not hear 
come round. . - 

[T did not write this in the letter, but said these very words to her next day, 
■or nearly.] (Can you see how it's signed ? ) I'm trying to. The last letter 
is "s." (That's right.) [I was thinking of the last letter of the name 
Holmes. — R.H.] [Here Phinuit tried to write the initials. His attempts 
hIiow two separate capital S's, another doubtful capital S, a scrawl like a 
■capital U, two initials together like LS, then three initials together, the first 
■of which might be L or J or Q, the second of which might be S or G, and 
the third of which is most like S. — R.H.] Signed by initials. Looks like 
A. R. S. You know she's got three names. (That's right. ) Looks like " L " 
or "J." (Is that the first or last or the middle one ? ) The first. I'll get 
more another time. [When Mrs. Holmes signs " initials," her J is as much 
like an L as it is like a J. — R.H.] [Lucy H. wrote me, June 1st, to meet 
her and go to H. the next Sunday. June 1st, I wrote her to visit me ; our 
letters crossed. Friday, June 5th, I called upon her, saying, " Will you go 
to Gilmore's concert with me to-morrow evening ? In case you do not hear 
to the contrary, expect me about 5 p.m. Saturday. I will come romul ior you, 
take you to the concert, and then home with me for Sunday. I did not 
Address her as " My dear Lucy," but did sign my initials to a postal card, 
sent another mail, J. S. H.] 

47. Sitting on June loth, 1891. 

[Mrs. Holmes understood that I was to try to get information from 
Phinuit, during the sitting, of her doings 11.30 — 12.30.] 
He Glove, Mrs. Holmes. 

Who's Ella ? [See below.] I've seen this influence before. Somebody's 
sweetheart. You handed ma some influence like this before. Give me the 
piece that goes with it. I saw the date with this, you know. N.Y. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 143 

(That's right.) This lady's been across the water. [Yes, once only, to England.] 
Been across two or three times. Spent much time in Paris. [Ella has. I 
have never been on the Continent.] 

Be Velvet as ikU, also Hair and Ribbon. 

This [velvet] is a bonnet tie. Nice generous bit of hair, tliis is. Cut 
right close to the head. Dersyer, I see that written. [Unrecognised by me.] 
She has a large blue vase that was given to her by an elderly gentleman and 
lady across the water. [No, but we have two Bolton vases brouglit from 
Ireland, by Miss Maggie K.] Ask her if she knows anybody named Sweat. 
[Yes, Frances Sweat, sister of my aunt Louisa, died many years ago.] 
You know you have to go up steps to get into her house. There's 
fi little thing in front that you swing in. (Hammock ? ) Yes, hammock. 
[Baby's swing on side piazza. Hammock is in garden.] There's a chair 
with a crooked back. [No.] A funny back that throws back with a spring. 
[We have a velvet chair in New York that falls back with a rod — too big 
for this cottage.] There is a young lady witli veiy dark hair sitting 
therein this minute. (About 11.55 a.m., June 15th, 1891.) [Do not know.] 

12 Noon . — The elderly lady has a parcel, a square package, looks like a 
book, in lier hand. She's been reading, and she's just arranged something 
on her head. It looks like a little wrap she's thrown over her head. The lady 
herself has gone to speak to the younger lady, and she has on a dark dress 
with little light spots in it. [Wrong, but see Mrs. H.'s letter concerning the 
dress. — R.H.] . . . She has a friend that she's very fond of, named 
Ella or Ellen. [Eleanor B., commonly called Ella.] How do you spell that ? 
That's her name — S — T — R, S — T — A — . [Gives it up, apparently. — R.H.] 
She knows who Louise is, Louise in spirit. [I have Aunt Louise in the body.] 
(What is she doing ?) [I explained about appointment from 11.30 to 12.30. 
— R.H.] Slie came mighty near forgetting it. [No, I thought very mucli 
about it.] 

12.15. — She looks as if she's putting some flowers in a vase. [Yes, I was.] 
She trims and puts them in that. [Yes, pulled out dead ferns and placed 
vase on desk.] Since I saw her influence the other day [Wednesday, 
June 10th. — R.H.] she has been having the pillows changed in the room 
where she sleeps, and some things changed in the bed [Yes, bed broke 
clown — new post put in], and she's been having sometliing put up over the 
window. [Yes.] Do you know her girl ? (Her daughter ?) Yes. (Yes, I 
Tsnow her.) She's a nice girl. . . . Her daughter has a friend who's 
going to be married right away. [Yes, we guess so.] (A lady?) Oiii. The 
last part of her name ends in son, doesn't it? (No.) Last part of her first 
name? (No.) She has three names. Miza comes with this {relret) and 
she's in the body. [Yes, "Aunt Eliza," sister of Albert's mother.] [See 
telow.— R.H.] 

12.22. — Now she's doing something to a picture — the mother, who is 
still in the body — I think there's something the matter witli her teeth. 
[My notes are not clear as to whether this statement was abovit Mrs. Holmes 
or her mother, but my impression during the sitting was, I believe, tliat it 
referred to the mother of Mrs. Holmes, viz., Mrs. Sadler, who writes on 
Dec. 4th, 1891 : "I cannot remember toothache on June 15th, 1891. Have 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

had general trouble with my teeth all the year." — R.H.] [Yes, lost gold out 
of niy back tooth yesterday.] [Phinuit asked at beginning of sitting if he 
wasn't right about the mother, father, and brother being in spirit. I said 
that the mother-in-law was in spirit. — R.H.] I hear the name of William 
Henry, who's called Henry. [At beginning of sitting Phinuit asked me if 
William wasn't the name of the brotlier. I said that the lady recognised 
that, although she didn't at first. — 11. H.] Did you ever see her paint? 
(No.) [My daughter is an artist.] She's doing something with a brush. 
Now she's drojiped tliat — she sits down at desk to write. Charles is on the 
page in front of lier. [J sat at desk to write, not my daughter.] [The above 
remarks, including the painting, were applied by Phinuit to Mrs. Holmes. — 

12.25. — Now I see her go to the window and speak to a man, short, kind 
of stout. [Yes, the butcher.] She reaches up and pulls something down, 
[I opened blind for more light and arranged curtain.] Slie's gone back tO' 
sit down again, at the desk. [Yes.] I hear "Caroline, aunt, passed away 
with stomach and heart trouble, recognises this influence." [Yes. A dear 
friend. Aunt Cai'oline Mason — Kathcrine was her sister-in-law, also called by 
me Aunt Kate.] She seems to be writing. [Yes, I was writing witli plan- 
chette.] Albert — cousin, a wandering sort of fellow, something to do with 
soldiers, fighting. Old-fashioned picture of him taken some years ago. 
[Yes, on a hobby-horse.] He doesn't know whether she or his mother, her 
aunt, has tlie photo. [Aunt Eliza has it.] He was very f(md of shooting. 
[Yes, but Albert is alive.] Maria. A relative on her husband's side. 
[Maria Holmes, but on my mother's side, wife of her brother. I ant 
named Julia Maria from this aunt.] 

12.30. — She's got a whole box of things. She's pawing them over for all 
she's worth. [I was.] You ask her for another piece of fresh hair, cub 
close, but I don't want to rob her liead. 

[Further comments.'] 

I have a small steamer trunk in my bedroom, full of MSS., &c. About 12 
noon I ran up to this trunk after a red pencil. At 11.30, .June 1.5th, I .sat down 
to my writing-desk in bay wind(jw to write with plancliette. Noticing some 
flowers fading in glass dish on the desk, I stopped to puU. out dead ferns and 
rearrange tlie daisies. On the paper under planchette was the name Charles, 
which Lucy Hothersall had jiartially written last week, Sunday. (No, I never 
spoke to her of Mrs. Piper or our experiments. ) It was very hot, and plan- 
chette was evidently wilted. He, she, or it did manage, however, to spell 
out Phinuit once or twice, witli a very sqiieuhj pencil, which rasped me- 
so, I threw it away, and got the new red one froni " box of things " uj^stairs. 

Strange Phinuit, in second sitting, should have given "Caroline and 
Katherine " together. They were sisters-in-law. I always called them Aunt, 
though neither were related by blood. Caroline Mason's daughter, Emma, 
married my mother's nephew, Edgar Holmes. We were intimate from 
cliildhood, and I never knew any difference between my own aunt, Maria 
Holmes, Edgar's mother, and "Auntie Mason," Emma's mother. Albert 
Holmes is Edgar's cousin and mine. Albert's Aunt Eliza, his mother's sister, 
adopted him on the death of his mother, Susan, and we cousins always called 

Ohservations of Certain Phenomena, of Trance. 


her Aunt Eliza. She is now living, and AU^ert has always lived with her, 
except when he wanders away ; he is rather of a roving disposition. 
Catherine Mason Curtis, Emma's aunt, is principal of Livingston Park 
Seminary. Emma and I were educated there and called her Aunt Kate. These 
may be prosy details to you, but they are important as proofs of Phinuit's, 

-:«■ * * * 

I have a dark blue dress with small white spots, but I did not wear it at' 
all on June 15th. The hammock is only a few yards from the parlour bay 
window, swinging from a pear and cedar tree, around which twines a grape 
vine, forming a natural arbour. It is out of sight of the jjiazza with the 
v.'ooden swing, on the ojjposite side of the house, in the garden. There are 
three steps leading up to the side piazza where swing is, and it is the first 
thing one would naturally notice coming from the depot. There are alsO' 
three steps leading to front piazza, where you sat sneezing that cold night,, 
but no hammock or swing in view from that. 

During the two weeks footboard v/as in city being mended we put pillows 
out on grass and looked them over. We did this twice. 

The something over windo^vs was curtains. We put up a new set in th& 
sitting-room downstairs. This room has an antique oak folding bed, too 
large to be got upstairs, and I slept here all winter, but m y bedroom is really 
the one above, whei-e maliogany bed is. I had it at first and moved back 
there this spring. This is why Phinuit speaks of them both as " nui room." 
The curtains were too long. My daughter arranged the extra length in a. 
lamhreqiiin drapery over the top, which I afterward rearranged to suit my- 
self. . . . We did this about June 1st. 

I cannot remember the exact second when I fixed blind and flowers, or 
spoke to butcher — will take the watch next time. They all occurred within 
the hour, at intervals of fifteen or twenty minutes. I went to box of thinga 
about noon, in the middle of experiment. 

I think Auntie Mason died with stomach and heart troulile. Was sick 
a long time, up and down, 

Julia Holmes. 

Mrs. H. writes on June Cist, 1891 :— 

At 12.30, June loth, I went upstairs, changed morning dress for street 
costume, opened trunk, searched among your letters for address of 
Dr. Lukens, and took the 1 p.m. train for New York. I was at the trunk 
about 12.40. J. S. H. 

At this stage I acquainted Professor Bowditch with the circum- 
stances of the pi'evious experiments, and arranged with him that Mrs.. 
Holmes should write down, at the time, accounts of her doings between 
11.15 and 12.30 on the mornings of June 2.3rd and 24th, sign them 
a;id obtain her daughter's signatui'e, and post them immediately to- 
Professor Bowditcli. Similarly, I was to send at once to Professor 
Bowditch my notes taken during the sitting. This programme was. 
carried out, but it will be seen from the reports that there is practically 
no correspondence between Pliinuit's descriptions and the notes made 


Mr. R. TloJrjson. 

by Mrs. Holmes during the time of the experiment. A few days later 
I sent the notes of the sittings to Mrs. Holmes, I'ecjuesting her to 
comment upon the statements made l)y Phinuit, and to specify whether 
Phinuit's descriptions given during the hour of expei'iment appeared to 
be correct pictures of incidents which had liajopened at otlier times. 

48. ,S',7/;;i;/ (./( J/(/ie 23rf/, 1891. 
[R.IT. t.iking notes.] (Eiti ranrril 11.25 a.m.) 

1. 11.30. — I^R. H. gives Phinuit .i fresh lock of hair in piece of muslin 
fabric, whicli Phinuit then sep;uMtes.] That's tlia same lady. That's our 
friend in New York. (Riglit. I want you to tell me wliat's she's doing.) 

2. 11.35. — Just at this very minute she's reading. She's gut a book, 
looking in it. I get the name Elizabeth. (How do you get it ? ) I can hear 
it. And there's somebody connected with her, named Alice. 

3. 11.37. — She's laid the book in a chair. She goes to a mirror and she's 
doing something to her front hair. You know how slie wears it, witli funny 
things here — frizzelettes. Slie's tidying them up a little. 

3i. 11.40.— Now I see her walking to and fr<i, ti> and fro, to and fro, 
A-e. " 

11.41.- Wliose little child is that? (Can't you tell me?) I think it's 
lier grandchild. Looks like a boy. She's stopjjed and spoke to him, 
stopped the pacing to and fro, you know. 

4. 11.42. — Now it looks as if she was showing hha some pictures. (In a 
book ?) Looks like pictures of persons, you know. (Portraits ?) Things 
like that. 

5. 11.44. — Now she goes to the desk, now gone back to the chair ; takes 
up book, folds it and puts on a shelf high up. Now slie goes to tlie desk, and 
has seated herself. 

6. 11.45.- She says : " Oh, liow strange 1 " W~I— L— L— I^A— M 
•and there's sometliing -.ibiint ivater, W — A — T — E — R. 1 don't know wliat 

tint is. (Do you see tliose words written ? ) I do. 

7. She leaves that — she's going upstairs. She g(jes to the room to her 
right. She turns in, slie takes up a garment off the cot and brushes it. She's 
got a little cold. Now I see her go to a closet — she stands a minute. 

11.47. — Oil, she's hanging up tliis garment, smootliing it down, and she's 
■closed the door. (< )f tlie closet ? ) Of the closet. 

8. She isn't feeling just well, she's got a slight headache. She's now 
arranging something here [touching me down the buttons of waistcoat]. 
Fastening it. [Front of dress, apparently.] 

9. 11.50. — Now the lady tliat I saw before [at previous sitting] goes and 
■speaks to her and calls " Mother." The lady [mother] leaves the a])artment 
and is goincdown again. The (»ne that's callin'f looks as if she was icoim;' out- 
side with something in her hand and watering the (lowers. The elderly lady 
goes to the door and is speaking to her while she's doing that. 

10. She's got on a dark garment with stripes, stripcx. Now I see her 
talking to a kind of a stout iierson — looks like a servant. (A woman ? ) Oui, 

Ohseri'dfiom of Ccrtaii} Phenomena of Trnvre. 147 

Slie's turned back fiom the doorway more into the passage-room. The 
-woman leans over the railing [from iipstaii's] and asks her ahoiit the gar- 
ment which she [the servant] has in her hand. The lady tells her slie had 
Letter put it on the line. 

11. 11.57. — Tlie servant lias disappeared. She goes to the liack part of 
t'.ie building. A lady in black comes in, dressed in — like mourning ; a caller, 
She [subject of experiment] takers from a little stand in the room a photograph 
jiiid shows it to the lady [caller]. The photograpli is of another lady at a 
<listance. She wants to know if she doesn't think it's good. She's now in 
tjeneral conversation with the lady. I'll have to wait till she changes tliat. 
The lady wlio has called has a little Idack thing in her hand, looks like an 

12.3. — [Here Phinuit explains that the spirit AVilliam is ttdliug liim s(jme 
things, that other things he sees himself.] 

12.5. — I'm sorry she's got this tickling sensation in her throat. Slie doc-i 
this, h — m, li — m [clearing the throat], while she's talking. 

12. 12.(5. — Lady just going out now. She's rather stout, nice-looking 
lady [i.e., the caller]. She [Mrs. Holmes] mentioned to the lady that she 
was trying some experiments jwith a friend of hers, but slie doesn't tell her 
liow or wliich way. She walks out witli her a little way. 

13. 12.7. — The lady's [Mrs. Holmes] got a little rheumatism in one (jf 
her legs. Caller lady comes around in a carriage. The carriage waits f(^r her. 
Any (piestions you want to ask )ue i I'm getting a little obscure, can't see so 

14. 12.8. — Now she's picked up something and eating it. (What is it ? ) 
It looks like a little round thing, kind of white. Perhaps it's a cake. 

15. 12.10. — 'Now there seems to be something going on here. There's a 
))oy called, and she delivers to him a parcel. Now she's gone to lie down, and 
she'll probably stay there some time, so I'm going to leave her. (See anything 
written on desk ? ) T-e-1-1 m-e t-h-i-s i-f y-o-u c-a-n. 

16. 12.13. — (Can you see the daughter?) She's thinking about going 
away. Isn't that all right ? (T don't know. Do you mean "going away fi-om 
Where's she's living ? ) Yes. 

17. You tell her — elderly lady — the boy's not g<jing to be ill, and to tak3 
good care of hev.^elf. 

18. 12.15. — She's got a Vjook. I didn't see her pick it up. ( )li, it's the 
same book. She's lying there, reclining. 

19. 12.20. — She's just had a picture changed on the wall. She ha I 
somebody else move it. He"s gone now. He says "Good-bye" [i.e.,thi 
^' spirit " William, who, according to Phinuit, has been supi^lying most of tha 

12.25. [Trance ends.] 

[Notes made hy Mrs. Holmes during tlie hour of sitting. In envelope 
iiddressed to Professor Henry P. Bowditch, postmarked "New York, June 
ti3, 2 p.m.," and " Back Bay, Boston, .lune 24, 7 a.m."] 

Spuyten Duyvil, Tuesdaij, June 23rd, 1891. 
Experiment began at 11.5, cottage parlour. I sat at desk in dark bluj 

L 2 


Mr. It Hodgson. 

calico wrapper with white spots, and wrote until 11.30 a letter beginning- 

" Dear Dr. Hodgson." My daugliter, Mrs. Margaret K , lounged on 

.sofa in wliite muslin dress, reading. Went to bookcase, took out encyclo- 

p<edia, carried it to sofa and read until door bell rang at 11.30. Mrs. K 

answered bell ; found at door a one-eyed beggar who wanted money. She 
went upstairs for pocket-book and stopped to eat a jjiece of pea-nut candy p 
came down, gave him some money, and returned to parlour. 

From 11.30 to 11.45 we sat in parlour and shelled jjcas without interrup- 
tion. Conklin, the grocer, passed window. From 11.45 to 12 Mrs. K 

continued wlielling peas and I sat at desk writing Dogmatic, Bigoted, Nice,. 
Smart, Wings, in liig letters, on sheets of pajjer. 

From 12 to 12.15 played pi;ino while my daughter sang to big rag doll,, 
rocked it, trotted it on knee, danced round tlie room with it, and finally 
tossed it [to] ceiling. 

From 12.15 to 12.30 sat on floor and 1)uilt block houses. We lioth built 
a tower of Babel, and closed our hour (jf experiment with a grand downfall. 

[Later notes by Mrs. Holmes on the report of sitting, June 23rd, 1891.] 

2. No, not reading — my daughter had just laid down book, 11.30. Yes.. 
Elizaheth Hoyt Holmes, my mother-in-law, has a granddaughter Alice. 

3. No. My daughter laid book down, went ujjstairs, stood before 
mirror, opened bureau drawer, for purse — does not recall touching her hair. 

4-7. Wrong. 

8. Yes. Sliglit headache —very unusual for me. 
1). No. My daughter left apartment. I did not. 

10. I wore dark blue dress with spots, not stripes. Yes, we have a new 
servant, stout j)erson. I did not talk to lier tlien. 

11. A lady called in her carriage six weeks ago. She took Margaret's 
j)liotograph from ta])le, admired it, asked for it, put her parasol against table 
while holding photo. I gave her the picture. Do not rememVjer her dress. 
[It was afterwards ascertained that it was not l)lack.] 

12. This lady dined witli us last Friday. After dinner, I told her the 
story of Phinuit's experiments, how lie saw me at " box of things," &c. 
Called him " clairvoyante's control." No name mentioned. 

13. Yes, left knee — leg sometimes gives out. Yes, lady's carriage 
waited outside and drove round a little. While waiting for it to return we 
walled in the (jarden.. See 12. 

1(5. My daugliter is building a liouse in B . She will move there 

in the fall. 

17. I have worried al)Out the <jiii, not the boy. Thought of asking 
Phinuit to read her hair. 

19. No, we have had no picture changed in this cottage ; we did in the 


Mes. Julia Holmes. 
Margaret H. K. 

14. No. 

15. No. 

18. No. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 149 

49. Silting on June 24:th, 18!d. 
[R.H. taking notes.] (Entranced 11.29.) 

1. William has been telling nic lots of things. This lady lost a little 
child many years ago, a little child that scarcely lived, stilU^orn or nearly so. 

2. Her own mother is quite well, l)ut she's a little bit deaf. A little 
trouble on right side of head of mother. The right ear is a little troublesome 
sometimes. Years ago she had quite a severe illness in the stomach, ljut 
recovered, and she'll stay in the body some time yet. William remembers it. 
£The foregoing concerns Mrs. H.'s mother.] This lady [Mrs. H.] takes a good 
deal from her mother. Aunt Caroline on the mother's side. You want me 
to go and see what she is doing? (Yes.) Sometimes William tells me and 
sometimes I go myself. He takes me there. 

3. 11.34. — Her throat's a little better to-day. 

4. 11.35. — She has a big stick in her hand, luck -5 like a handle. She's got 
it, and she's reaching up quite highly and arranging a picture on the wall. A 
cord from whicli the picture is suspended. Now she steps to the window 
and takes the stick and reaches up and drawing the draperies — sort of 
portiere that hangs l)y the window on one side. She stands the stick in the 
corner, and makes the canojiy thing drop down from outside. William tells 
me it is a-w-n-i-n-g. 

5. She's got on a greyish gown. 

6. 11.40. — Now she's helping this fleshy person I told you about — looks 
like a servant — to arrange furniture and things in the room. 

7. 11.42. — Now she's disposed of this person and she's sitting down. 

8. 11.44. — Well I'll be hanged if she isn't musical. Her fingers going 
like this [tapping with fingers as if strumming on a board]. (Do you hear 
anything ?) No, I think she's doing it for fun, to see if I can see it. Now 
she goes to the desk. She's writing something. Does she write to you what 
she's doing ? (Yes.) She's writing down : X'ra-it'/t cnifai/i.. Talked tu Willie. 
Who's Willie ? (I don't know.) 

9. Told Mary to brush my eloah. Phase haii'j in closet hi my room after 
jmtting on line. 

10. 'My dear mother, I v-ill send tilings to you to-morrow if possilile. 
11.50.— That's all. Now she's stopped. 

11. 11.51. — Samps. Can't get any more of that now. Perhaps I'll get 
that later. I see June. 

12. She's got a letter that's got your influence there, on her desk. She's 
just lifted it up and looked at it. Have you been writing to her ? (Yes.) 
She's laid it on one side now. 

13. 11.54. — Do you know she's got something ? She's just picked it up ; 
looks like a watch — a round thing, shiny. Hold on now, she's writing 
something. June 24</(. Then a dash — two ones and two aiid five, 11:25. 
{She's in the same surroundings ?) She's at her desk. That what you 
mean ? (Yes. ) 

14. Had a call from Mrs. French. I don't think that's quite riglit, but 
,-t looks like it. 


Mr. J{. Hnihjson. 

15. Sampson. (Is Samjisoii written tliore ?) Yes, that looks like on tht; 
note to luotlier. 

16. Do you know Steven '! (No, I don't think so. Do you see that 
written ? ) No, 1 hear it. 

17. 12.2. — I see 3Iuri/ written. iSlic had a grandfather naiued John, 
(Do you see that written ? ) No, I hear that. 

18. 12.3. — As true as you live she's had tlie portrait of a gentleman 
moved on the wall. I see portrait. (Written ? ) Yes. 

19. 12.5. — She gets up, and takes a little red wrap-like thing, and puts 
over her shoulders. Then she goes back, and sits down again in the same 
seat. " Oh dear 1 " she says. She takes the hook on her knee now. She 
writes pretty fast this minute. 

20. Here conies the same girl now. (The servant ? ) Yes. Rapsontlicf 
door and 2)asses her a paper. She [Mrs. H.] says, " Lay it down, j'leasc — 
tliank you." Servant passes out. 

21. Now the daughter conies in and sits down in rocking-chair and tiilks 
with her mother about making arrangements al)out a house. 

22. Who do those two children belong to ? Her daughter ? Slie don't, 
know but she'll send one of them away for ;i little time. For rest and 
change, you know. Have you been there yourself ? (Yes.) 

23. 12.8. — Did you notice that little body of Avater near there ? (Yes.) 

24. I should tl link she wouldn't like to be w;itched like this, but she 
don't mind. 

25. 12.10. — Do you know, I see tlic name Manjuret. 
20. Tills lady [Mrs. H.] likes Miss P . 

27. The daughter Siiys something — .she'll h;ive somebody— sounds like- 
Ed — something — trim up that tree. 

28. 12.12. — Her daughter shows her something white like cloth, and asks, 
lier how to put it together, which is the best way to have it go. 

29. Right liehiad the lady [Mrs. H.] is a stand with something yellow in 
it like fruit. 

30. 12.15. — I'jxin my word, that lady's going out to drive. She thinks, 
.she w(_>ii't go till a little later, so it's all riglit. What time of day l She's- 
talking aliout lunch. Slie doesn't know whether to drive before lunch or 
after. She finally thinks she'll not go till after. 

31. I mnd get these off hij earlij iiutil to-mfjrroiv. (Slic writes that?) 
Out. No, I've made a mistake there. She sa\is that. 

32. 12.18. — Slie's taken up a little tiling and looks as if .she was doing- 
something to the ends of her nails. Now slie sits back and rocks. 

33. The daughter's just going out. The mother goes towards the window 
and looks out. Then she puts her hands behind her and paces the room to 
and fro, to and fro, like she did lieforc, you know. She goes towards door, 
whicli is open, then goes out into the yard. 

34. 12.20.-— Now she's stooped over looking at something, a flower. 
She's got a little jxiir of nijipers and she's culling them. She's trimming tlic 
ends of them. She's nipping off the little briars on the lower end of the 
stems, and the lower leaves, to make a pretty nosegay. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 151 

35. 12.23. — Now she jjulls up lier guwn and she steps up the steps and 
she comes in. Now she goes to a long mantel — like, takes a vase, puts- 
water in it, puts the flowers in it, and stands it on her desk. Looks like roses, 

36. 12.25. — Now she's just picked uji her 2>encil. Picked. She put.s 
her hand uj) to lier ear. Flowers, trimmed stems, 2}itt them on desk in, «(;/ 
room. I'm getting dim. 

37. Now looks as if she was Ijrushiug herself [imitating]. (With Iilt 
hands ?) I don't see any brush. 

38. 12.26. — Left room, goes out and upstairs. Goes to mirror and is 
tidying herself up. I cannot see any more. 11.29. — I'm too dim. I can't 
see any more. I haven't heard William so plainly. I've had to work alone 
a little hit. He helps me, he gives me strengtli. If I hadn't had him to 
help me, I couldn't do half so well. The influence of the articles [lock of 
hair, ribl.)on, ttc] goes through nis to him like a battery. 

39. You ask her wlien you write if she remembers Florence. William 
says tliis. 

[Notes made by Mr.-;. Holmes during the hour of sitting. In envelops 
addressed to Professor H. P. Bowditch, and postmarked " New York, June 
24, 2 jj.m.," and " Back Bay, Boston, June 25, 7 a.m."] 

Wedncsdaii, June 2ith, 1891. 

Cottage parlour at 11.15 a.m. I sit in bay window, making the word 
Pliinuit in leaves. For fifteen minutes I sew green leaves on a sheet of white 
jjaper. From 11.30 to 11.45 I write a few lines to Phinuit on this sheet. 
At 11.45 I stop' writing and go to the garden to pick flowers and hunt for a 
child's sun hat. Do not find the liat, but pick up a small blue jacket. At 12 
I lie in the hammock and "loaf with (Walt Whitman) and iny soul '' for 
fifteen minutes. Then a boy drives up with a cart and a dog. I get ujj, pat 
the dog, take down liammock and speak to tlie boy. At 12.15 I return to 
parlour, write a few lines to Phinuit, and lie down on sofa. I lie on the same 

sofa, in the same dress which my daughter, Mrs. K , wore yesterday, 

imitating her manner and attitude. At 12.30 I rise, sit at desk and write to 
Professor Bowditcli. It is now 12.45. 

.Tt'lia Holme.s. 

[Later notes by Mrs. Holmes on tlie report of sitting on June 24th, 1891.] 

1. Yes, I lost a little child, years ago — a premature birth — never knew 
the sex. 

2. Yes, my own mother is a little deaf (don't remember in which ear), 
sometimes worse than others. Y'es, her illness generally takes that form. Has 
a chronic inflammation of stomach and bowels. Do not remember any special 
severe sickness so long ago (forty years). William miglit. No. I am not 
at all like my mother. 

3. Shouldn't have noticed throat if Phinuit hadn't called my attention 
to it. Yes, I have some irritation there — the tonsils are always a little 

4. No, didn't have stick in my hand, and we have no aivnings anywhere. 
[See Addendtmi, p. 153.] I daily dust a painting which hangs over writing- 
desk. I use a small feather duster. Picture hangs close to curtain. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

5. I liad on white muslin. 

6. We have a new servant, who is lioshy, named Bridget. No, I was 
not helping her arrange furniture at this time. 

7. No, not at this hour. 

8. I played piano while my daughter rocked rag doll, the day before, 
about this time, 11.44. I jjlayed "Johnny, get your gun," &c., to see if 
Phinuit could hear me. Yes, I was " doing it for fun, to see if I can see it." 
■I left piano and returned to desk. I wrote two lines in a letter to Dr. 
Hodgson, and made words to look at. I did not write " Drcnvn curtain," 
but I explained in my letter to Dr. Hodgs<m, finished in the afternoon, about 
some curtains ptut up three weeks previously. [All tliis on the day before, 
June 23rd. — R.H.] Did not say or write " tallied to Willie." 

9. No. 

10. Six weeks ago I wrote my mother I would send her things by 
express — may have said "to-morrow if possible." 

11. See 15. 

12. Yes, I had Dr. Hodgson's last letter of instructions on my desk, to 
which I repeatedly referred. 

13. Yes, I had watch on my desk, consulted it cverj' fifteen minutes, and 
wrote the hour and minutes on paper. 

14. No, had no call from Mrs. French — no one called. 

15. Sampson was a nickname given to my baliy, Charles Hoyt Holmes, 
on account of his extreme littleness. He lived six months. Sampson was 
not ivritten anijivlicre, and I wrote no note to mother at this time. 

16. I know Mary Stevens, nee Holmes, my mother's niece. My mother 
also has an uncle Stephen. 

17. I had a great-great-grandfather named John Sadler. No Mary 
was written. 

18. Wrong. We have no i^ortrait of gentleman on any wall. 

19. I got up and put on a red shawl over my muslin dress, wore it in 
the garden, in the hammock, and after experiment closed. I wrote i^retty 
fast fifteen minutes later, when finishing notes for Dr. Bowditch — hurried 
to catch postman. 

■ 20. Wrong. 

21. No, my daughter was in New York. We have often tallced over a 
new house, which we have been designing during the last month. 

22. My grandchildren Kenneth and Marjorie K . We have not 

discussed sending them away, but I have been anxious about Marjorie, and 
wished she might have a change. 

23. Yes. Spuyten Duyvil Creek and Hudson River. 

25. Margaret is my daughter. 

26. True. 

27. We have not said anything to Ned about training tree. He is the 
gardener. [See Addendum, p. 153.] 

28. No. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena, of Trance. 


29. A yellow table stands just back of my writing chair. Had a disli of 
cherries there day before experiment. 

30. No. 

31. Wrong. 

32 and 33. At 11.14 my daughter went to the station. I hadn't small 
loaves enough to make the word Pliiiiuit. I went to the garden for another 
branch, came back, and cut off the smallest ones with some little scissors 
lying on desk. Cutting out round dots for the /, some leaves fell in my lap. 
I brushed thena off with my hands. Think I cleaned nails with these scissors 
just before beginning to cut leaves. Don't remember sitting in rocking-chair, 
hut did pace up and down two or three times after coming from garden. It 
is my habit. 

34. Yes, the smaller leaves were all at tlie cud of the branch — not to 
make a nosegay, but a Phiiiuit. 

35. At 12.15 I lifted my dress, came ujj steps, went to Ijookcase, put 
flowers (daisies) in a yellow vase, but forgot the water. I put vase back on 
bookcase. There was a pitcher of roses on desk — wild roses, brought on 
Sunday. The same wild roses are painted on the pitcher. 

36. At 12.25 I took my pen and wrote few lines to Phinuit. No, did 
not say "Put them on desk in my room," but gathered up stems left from 
word Phinuit and laid them on top of desk by the roses. 

37. May have brushed a few leaves from my dress just here, but think I 
did it all before — remember going to open window to let leaves fall in grass. 

38. Don't remember doing this at any time. 

39. Can't remember Florence. 

Addendv- m : That pole my daughter put out of the window to poke Walter's 
coat off the roof may be the pole Phinuit saw. Could he have mistaken the 
coat for an awning 1 I was writing to you about it, and my letter lay upon 
desk during hour of experiment. ^ Could he have sensed the word Walter and 
mistaken it for Water? He confused me and my daughter, and he mixed 
up the two days of experiments, but he really did see a good deal. 

While lying in hammock, moriiing before first experiment, .June 2.3rd, I 
looked into cedar and pear trees and thought if I were mistress here, I should 
" have iN'ed trim up these trees." But nothing of this kind was said. It 
■svas about tliLs tune my daughter came to the window with the pole when I 
laughed and cried out to her : " Oh, if Pliinuit could only see you now." 

Julia Holmes. 

[Note by R.H.] 

The following statements were made by Phinuit to me at a sitting on June 
25th, 1891 :— 

11.40. — She is taking books out. She's been dusting them. [No.] 
12.31. — She's written two notes and posted them off this very day. 

^ June 23rd. "Wonder if Phinuit saw [my daughter] WTap the window curtain 
about her shoulders and poke Walter's old coat off the bay window roof with a 
long pole about 10.30 this a.m."— [Extract from letter to me from Mrs. Holmes, 
wTitteu June 23rd ; received by me on return from sitting on June 24th.— R.H.] 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

[Ye.s.] There's been a dark-coloured man there within 24 hours. [No.] I 
saw her juist a little while ago, combing her hair, bru.shing her hair. [Yes.| 
She's going to make a call, then she's going to do a few little things at home. 
[No.] She wrote a lot of nuiubers in one of the books — objects tliat she's 
going to get — a sort of list. [My daughter did - made a list, went to the city, 
and called on Ella, .fune 24th, iiof 25f/i.] 

50. Miss Edinimds and 3Irs. Holmes. Jul n 1.4, 1S91. 

[I was at Bar Hai])or June 2(ith to July 3rd, and having learned by letter 
from Mrs. Holmes that slie intended to spend a day or two in Boston, and 
wished to have a sitting with Mrs. Piper, I explauied the circumstances to- 
Miss Edmunds (my assistant), and requested her to accompany Mrs. Holmes 
to the sitting and take notes. Blrs. Holmes came to my office upon her 
arrival in Boston, on June 30th, and had an interview with Miss Edmunds.^ 
who was to have a sitting on July 1st. Mrs. Holmes did not wait till July 
1st, and went to see Mrs. Piper in the afternoon of June 30th in the hope 
of obtaining a sitting. Mrs. Piper could not give her a sitting then, but 
Mrs. Holmes had some conversation with Mrs. Pij^er and, inadvertently^ 
" revealed her identity " as the subject of the experiments which I had been 
making. The new matter, therefore, mentioned to Mrs. Holmes at this 
sitting can hardly be regarded as of evidential value, and I give the details, 
only of the attempt to obtain from Phinuit some description of my own 
doings during tlie hour of the experiment. — R. H.] 

[L.E. taking notes.] (Mrs. Piper erdratired cdjont 11.30.) 

* * * * 

[L. E. speaks of the time — twelve o'clock — and suggests that Phinuit be- 
"sent after" Dr. Hodgson. Phinuit does not seem to compreliend at first., 
and goes on :] . . . 

[Phinuit is told again to see where Dr. Hodgson is.] Is that where- 
Marie D is '. I'll go there. I saw him a minute ago. (What is ho 

doing?) [Long pause of nearly two minutes, during whicli Mrs. Piper 
breathes heavily and seems to be in a deep, natural sleep ; takes her hand 
away from Mrs. Holmes, and her face is seen hjoking perfectly natural.], 

Ha I What do you think he is doing ? He handed a book to Marie D . 

She turns it over, flopped over some of the pages and handed it back to him. 
He says he is going out with Charles — going out towards the water — going to^ 
take a ride when I left liim. He had one foot crossed over the other ; slio'w.'i 
the book to Marie and goes out. He looks like a countryman. (What's, 
he got on ?) Oh, he looks like a Scotclnnan. [Another pause, during which 
Mrs. Piper again seems a.sleep.] Oh, he's flopped over on his stomacli I 
Now he's turned over the other way ! I never saw him cut up like 
that before. He throws both aims up. Now he's stretching and 
yawning I . . . [Long pause again.] Ha I ha ! He did something 
like leap-frog witli Cliarles — like leaping frog. (On the sands ? ) No, on 
the front of the building, at the farther end of it. He going to take a drive 
now — will presently. [Pause again.] He's got into a kind of funny thing 

and rolled off. 

* * * * * 

[Mrs. Piper came to herself at 12.40.] 

Observations of Certain 2'henomena of Trance. 155- 

[Notes hy R. H.] 

I made only the following notes during the time of the experiment :- - 
12. — Up from beach with Miss A. Carriage. 
12.15. — Started for Green. 
12.17. — Dropped book. 

[I Avas staying at Mrs. D 's, in l>ar Harbor, as was known to Miss- 
Edmunds and also, I believe, to Mrs. Pijier. Phinuit usually calls Mrs. 
D. by the name Marie (Mary), and Mr. D. by his first name Charles. I did 
not look " like a Scotchman," but Phinuit's remarks might have done very 
well for George D., who wore knickerbockers and a tam o'shanter hat fre- 
cptently during my visit. I had also specially noticed him lounging on the 
grass and flinging his arms and body about, but cf>uld not say at what time 
he did this, nor could he give me any information. Somewhere between 
11. oO and 12 I strolled down to the edge of the water with Miss A., return- 
ing about 12. I fell on a slippery rock just as we left the beach. The 
carriage was waiting to take a i)arty of us np Green Mountain. We waited- 
a short time for some other members of tlio party, and then we mounted 
the high carriage, and, as Phinuit describes it, evidently near the right 
moment, "rolled off." The incident of the drive appears to l)e the only 
one that Phinuit hit correctly — as to time. As we started in the carriage 
■we were joking about the iiossibility of Phinuit's seeing us.] 

51. Edmifudg. Jidij Gtli, 1891. 

[From notes made during the sitting by Miss Edmunds.] 

[Mrs. Piper entranced about 11.45. I handed to Phinuit an envelope 
containing what I afterwards found to be a piece of narrow white silk ribbo 
Phinuit's remarks are abridged.] 

[Phinuit takes the ribbon from its wrappings.] It's nothing but a string- 
like thing, nothing but string. I get Hodgson's influence — Hodgson and 
some woman put that together. [He then threw the wiaps on the ground 
and tucked the "string" in Mrs. Piper's hair. I then gave him the large 
envelope containing some MSS.] That's another of Hodgson's tricks. . . . 
You see if there is not writing on that. (Yes, there is.) Open it out. [I open 
it out and put it over his head.] No, not that way ; put it with the writing 
next to my head. [I turned it over.] There, that's better. I want to get 
Hodgson's influence off it. He has had something to do with it, but he 
didn't write it. Now, please, give me the wrapper it was in. You see, if 
we put anything like this into a wrapper the wrapper holds the influence. 
It's a kind of document. It does not belong to wrapper. I wanted to get 
it right side up, it was no good the other way. You wait a minute and I'll 
strain it all out. It has been written a long time — has not been much 
handled — came way across country. (Across the water 1} [Hesitatingly.]; 
Yes, across the water. (I don't know anything about it.) No, I know you 
don't, it's some of Hodgson's ti icJ;s. If I could only get the least bit of 
perspiration of the person who handled it, but there's nothing. And 
that thing — the string thing — is just a joke [taking it from his hair and 
throwing it on the floor]. Somebody connected with this [the manuscript] 
that's lost, someone that's lost, don't you understand ? . . , There is 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

no magnetism in that. [Tliu MS. — Creases it up and throws it after the 

(Can you find out anything aljout this ? ) [Giving him some manuscript 
written l)y " Y.," whicli he throws away immediately, saying : ] This makes 
me cross ! . . . Tliis takes me to a relative. (No.) I saw this with 
Hodgson. When he handed it to me it made me sick — I couldn't tell 
him anything about it — it's something to do with a woman. This woman 
is a perfect crank. What she says is no good — she's kind of funny. She's 
in body — not likely to go out yet ; she live long time yet. You know 
all you want to of her. She thinks she is smart, knows a good deal, 
but she don't ; she don't know so much as she thinks. She's married. 
It's got your influence on it, too — it was written for you — you had some- 
thing to do with it after she wrote it. [True, I copied the hieroglyphs.] 
It's no earthly use. Her names spell with an . . . [Tliree right letters 
given in last name.] Her first name, Lawlio, Larie, Laurie — no, Lavn-a. 
(That's wrong. You are nearly right, though, with the last name.) She's a 
crank. I don't like her influence. She thinks she's very clever. She travels 
IX lot. (Very true.) She's going across the water soon. . . . [Right 
iiame given — first name and surname.] . . . [Further description of 
character correctly given.] 

[But I want y(ju to tell me where Dr. Hodgson is. He wants you to call 
on liim this uKjrning.] Oh, I see Hodgson near the water. Who are those 
children — two of them ? He's been talking to two boys. 

1 . This lady [meaning Mrs. Holmes] near the water. She's sitting in a 
chair [12.15] in front of the building. Slie's got a v/rap round her. She 
thinks she is going in. She's got up to go now. Now she's patting botli 
hands together — clap hands. I like her. Her astral body is very clear, very 
light. [Pause as if asleejj.] I went right close to her. She has gone in and 
put on more wraps — you kn(.)W, like a lady does — and .she is going out to take 
SI walk, a little walk for a little exei'cise. 

2. Do you know who HJidUm. is — Shepard — what you call him ? Don't 
you remember a little fellow with you at same school ? He was taken from 
school on account of being ill. You were going to see him with a lady, to 
visit him. He passed out. Charles — Charlie — a little lame fellow. (No, I do 
.not remember anything about it.) Can't you think ? [In a tone of great dis- 
appointment.] (I do not remember a lame boy of that name.) [There was 
;i lame Ijoy with curvature of spine at school by the name of Candler (I do 
mot remember first name unless it was Edward), for whom I remember feeling 
;great pity, but I never spoke to him or visited him. I was friendly with his 
rsisters — the boys were in another house. I have heard nothing of them 

3. I see Hodgson in the country — what's the name of that place ? — 
country — in place where William is ? (There are a number of Williams in the 
world 1) Yes, but Hodgson doesn't know fifty million Williams 1 He is not 
in Cliarles' surroundings, ljut in with another William — not William 
James. Tliere's a lady that has light hair. I get his influence and the 
lady's together. Now Hodgson is with her. I get their influence together. 
I see him in surroundings of — I get name William — not William James — you 
have to go aeross the water a little way and it is near the water — a country 

Observations of Certain Phenomoia of Trance. 

place. He is not with Mrs. D now — not there, but in another jjlace. 

[Seeing he had made so many mistakes I asked a leading question to see. 
whether he would alter his track.] (Is he not in Boylston-place ?) No. 
Light-haii'ed lady. He has been within a few days in surroundings of 
William — tall man, rather grey, and light-haired lady. Give me something of 
his. (I have not anything unless this.) [Handing envelope, addressed by 
Dr. Hodgson, which contained the "string." Phinuit puts it to his forehead 
for a time and went on :] He's writing now — lots of Ijooks and papers around 
him. Got his feet on something, I can't describe well. I thought he was by 
the water ; that water is a tank thing tliat holds water, and he was washing 
his feet and hands, that was what the water was. You see it confuses me, 
Lulie. Mrs. Holmes was by the water. I saw her there, and I sav.^ water 
around Hodgson, and I thought he was by the water, too, but lie was washing 
himself. He was doing something witli the water. Now he has sat down 
and is writing. [12.30.] 

4. He is talking to someone named William, Imt not William James. I. 
have got the two mixed — Mrs. Holmes and Hodgson. Now I get it clearer. 
He takes a stick and is poking about in the funniest kind of way, and ho 
seems as if he is talking and laughing to me, and saying all kinds of things, 
to me. He said : "Oh, Phinuit, you're no good." Now he says, " Now.^ 
Phinuit, you see if you can see that." And he has piled a lot of things one 
on top of another [and in same breath] How's Kate ? You've sent lier a book. 
Your father say it has reached its destination. [I had recently sent Kate a 
book.] . . . [Returns to Dr. H.] Oh, now I see him open the window 
— now he uses water. I see him brushing his hair. I see him drinking 
something from a c\\\). Now he's making a picture like a great big scrawl — 
funny looking thing I Now I see him go to a closet-like thing and open it 
and take out something. (What is the " something " ?) Looks like a dish of 
some kind. Now he is walking up and down. Oh, now lie's making such a 
horrid-looking face. He lias i)ut his hands in his pocket and .sat back and is 
looking at something. He's taken a wreath, a funny thing, and put it on his 
head. What are those books and papers round him ? He's got so many of 
them. Are they his ? (I expect so.) He goes downstairs, pat-a-pat, and gets 
letter and goes vipstairs, pat-a-pat. That's not his house. An old lady there. 
(Landlady ?) I don't know. Who's William ? A light-haired old lady. 
(Light-haired ?) Well, perhaps grey — it's not lilack, anyhow. (Why, yes, 
grey is light, it is not dark.) Yes, grey is liglit. I was right in saying 
"light-haired." A gent has called with a book in his hand. (Do you 
know him ?) He lectures or something. Hodgson has sat down and talks 
to someone. 

Boston, Mass., JdZj/TWi, 1891. 

[Comments by R. Hodgson on the sitting of July 6tli, 1891.] 
The piece of ribbon was sent to me by a lady relative of T. C. Hartshorn,, 
the translator of Deleuze's Practical Instriictions in Animal Marinetiam, and 
the first manuscript given to Phinuit at this sitting was in the handwriting, 
many years ago, of Mr. Hartshorn, deceased. The ribbon had been worn 
by the lady. No one was " lost " in connection with the MSS., and the rest 
of what Phinuit said about these articles, though correct, can hardly be^ 
regarded as indicating any suiieinoriiial knowledge. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

The second l(jt of MSS. 1 Iiad taken fit a previous sitting, anil Phinuifc 
•seemed disgusted witli it, and declined Ui tell anytliing about it, saying that 
it was rubbisii, and he didn't want to have anytliing to do with it, and 
throwing it upon the floor. It was an almost undecij)herable first draft of a 
lecture by a lady known to Miss Edmunds. 

Mrs. Holmes made the following notes (either July 7tli nv duly 8th, 
1891) upon seeing the record of the sitting : — 

1. At 12 noon I was sitting on tlie sand at Onset beach, tliiiiking intently 
of Pliinuit and willing him to see me. Supposing Dr. Hodgson to he with 
Airs. Piper, I also concentrated iny mind upon hiui. I liad on Idack wra]) 
trinnned with gold. At 12.15 I arose, patted the sand from my hands, and 
went to dinner at the Washburn House. I went into the hall, took off my 
wrap, hung up my umbrella, had dinner, came out about 1 Yi.m. — possibly 
12.45 — and walked to my room in an(;tlier street. 

2. T think possibly Phinuit heard tlie name Cliaiies f>]\eUon, and confused 
it witli tlie lame boy. He is tlie fatlier of the late Willis C. Slielton, tho 
celebrated boy organist. 

3. I was thinking much of my Ijrotlier William, WiHidering if lie coidd 
see me as Phinuit suggested. 1 was also apostrophizing Phinuit, saying, 
" Now c(jme and try to see what T am doing. Are you here, Phinuit ? " etc. 

4. Yes, Phinuit evidently "got the two mixed, Mrs.' Holmes and Dr. 
Hodgson." ... I poked my parasol in the sand unconsci(jusly, while 
thinking, but I piled up nothing. 

I l>elieve tliat Mrs. Piper and perhaps Phinuit also inde]jeiidently (since 
Mrs. Holmes had a sitting alone on July 3rd) knew that Mrs. Holmes was at 
Onset (by the sea), so that there is nothing remarkal)le in Pliinuit's state- 
ments about her, except, possibly, the descri^jtion of her clapping her liands 
.about the time when she v>'as patting her hands together to get rid of tlio 

The notes of my own doings, which I made during the hour of tho 
experiment, are as follows : — 

jiihj (Ml,, m.n. 

11.30. 12. — Getting up with usual incidents — boiling kettle, making 
tea, itc. 

12 noon. — In office, turning chair upside down. Arc Getting letters, then 
writing these notes. 

12.3. — Pull up window blind. 

12.8. — Put on jester's cap with bells. Took it otf. 

12.12. — Walked about room with jester's liat on. Went into l)8droom, 
took up ginger-ale bottle, having cherocjt in my mouth unlit. Light cheroot. 
Printed " sly veal " on pajier and placed it on to]) of desk, next little clock, 
■Haying, " Phinuit, do you see that I " rejioatedly and pointing to it with pen. 
■Open and read various letters, occasionally directing my attention to dij real. 

12.20. — Put teacup away in cupboard. 

12.25. — Postman comes in with registered letter from England. 

12.26. — Read Mrs. Sidgwick's letter— envelops contains plurtograph, &c. 
12.35. — Take out large shell from box, and hold it up near dy veal. Tak-j 

piece of brick from shell and fit it to the <jther fragment, &c. Then read 
reports of Mrs. H.'s sittings. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Tranrr. 159 

The description of my liaving bath, going downstairs to get letters, 
drinking tea, &c., would have been true if given attlie riglit time ; but these 
form part of the usual morning routine, and were known to Miss Edmunds 
ftnd I ])elieve also to Mrs. Piper. Pliinuit's account of my talking and 
laugliing to him might, perhaps, have been a shrewd guess, since he was aware 
that I had arranged the experiment. His reference to uiy making " a 
picture like a great big scrawl," putting the " wreath, a funny thing " on my 
head, and the calling of "a gent with a book in his hand " miglit, indeed, bo 
vague glimpses of my doings in printing the words "sly veal," putting the 
jester's cap on, and receiving the postman and signing in his little book for 
the registered letter. I sat down at my desk to sign, and intei'changed a few 
words with the postman. This last incident must have occurred only a very 
few minutes before Phinuit's mention of the i)erson callirig. Taken 
altogether, there is enough coincidence to suggest that furtlier experiments 
in this direction may be successful. It is worth while adding, with regard to 
possible hypotheses, that there were three " wreaths " (wliicli had been 
there since Christmas) lianging in my room, and that T liad contemplated 
jjlacing one of these on my head during the Inmr of e\pe)'inient, Imt found 
them too dusty. 

52. Dr. C L . Jnhj 7th, 1891. 

[See No. 38, p. 125.] 

Boston, Jul,, !)//,, 1891. 
In the beginning of the sitting I had with Mrs. Piper on 7tli July, she, or 
"Dr. Finlay," was uninteresting and vague, l)ut gradually he grew interest- 
ing. He read some names of persons which I had written down on a paper, 
although Mrs. Piper was to all appearances scnnul asleep, and with lier head 
bent down, so that she could not possil)ly see the paper. Asked to give some 
tost that I could tell Dr. Hodgson, he said : " Do you know Dr. Hodgson ?" and 
he continued : " You had a tire at your camp at night some time ago ; it did 
not last very long, but caused some confusion. I tell you this because 
nobody could possibly have informed me of it." This is perfectly correct. 
About f(jur months ago, in a very windy night, in Mexico, a tire started in 
my camp, near the kitchen fire. The cook got his blankets and some of liis 
■clothes burnt, and most of ovir scanty provisitms were destroyed, but the 
damage was nothing much to speak of, and I cannot recijllect I ever men- 
tioned this event any more. I feel at least cei'tain I never spoke of it in 
U.S.; in fact it was too insignificant an accident ever to l)e mentioned any 

I then asked whether I had been in any danger on tlio road, to which ho 
answered; " You came nearly being shot at by tlie Indians. You were out 
Tvith another man shooting, and tliey thought you were after tliem, but see- 
ing that you were looking for deer they did not disturlt you. This happened 
in the beginning of your journey, and you had no idea of any danger." In 
Tegard to this event, I suppose he refers to what took [)lace aliout five weeks 
after my start on my journey. Two of my men who had l)een out prospect- 
ing all day reported on their arrival in the evening tliat they liad seen fresh 
tracks of Apache Indians. We were a large party, and I did not feel any 
anxiety about their attacking us. Next morning I went out alone with a 
Mexican, shooting deer, and I heard in the course of the day a shot at some 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

distance. He said that this is wliat he refers to. The .sliot was fired off at 
such a distance that it was not meant for me, I am sure. He said that it was. 
only intended to frighten me. 

He next spoke of my family in Europe. They are all well, lie said. My 
sister has just been, "or is just going to be, married. My married sister- 
hxs just become a mother. This is news for me, as I have had no mail for 
a very long time, but as soon as I get news from abroad I will let you know 
whether lie is riglit. 

C L . 

53. MUs A. Odohcr Wth, 1891, 11 a.m. 

In accordance with my request, Mrs. Piper arranged to give a sit- 
ting on Friday, October 16th, 1891. The name of the sitter was, of 
course, not mentioned to Mrs. Piper. She is a member of our Society, 
residing in New York. I shall call her Miss A. 

On October 19th she writes : — 

In my judgment, the tests were very conclusive, and the infor- 
mation given hy Pliinuit has proved correct in all three cases according to 
the statements of the owners of the articles I took with me for the experi- 
ment. I enclose an account of the sitting which I have been enabled to 
make from some quite full notes made [during the sitting] by the friend who 
accompanied me. The delay has been in getting the various items of infor- 
mation verified, as in the case of the locket the owner is unknown to me and 
could only be approached through a friend whom I could not get at till late 
on Saturday. 

For myself I am quite convinced, after this test, that objects d(j carry 
spheres, whereby the passive personality is enabled in trance to enter the 
?(> I ccr astral plane, wherein all the memories of past and present are indelibly 

From conversation with Miss A. I learn that additional points 
were given correctly at the sitting whicli have been omitted from the- 
report on the ground that the owners of the articles would object to 
their publication. 

[Account by Miss A.] . 
* * * * * 

Sitter: "I have brought some things I want you to tell me about." 
Phinuit : "Do you know about them?" S. : "No, I want you to tell 
me." P. : "I feel a very strong influence here. It is your father — oh,, 
very strong. He is out of the Ijody. . . . [Continued with some 
characteristics of my father, all quite true.] S. : "I don't want to know 
anything about myself, or my relations. I want you to tell me some- 
thing I don't know anything about." P. : "Ha, well, I will do what 
I can for you." 

[Here a locket was given to the medium and she took it, but imme^ 

' This statement not correct, as Dr. L. writes to me from South America. lie 
docs not mention whether a sister had just been married or not. — ^R. 11. 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. IGl 

cliately called out:] "There is another influence here, I feel ib. V/ho 
is it ? " [A friend of mine v/as sitting at other end of room taking 
notes.] S. : " She is a friend of mine, a dear friend. She is a good 
influence." P. : [Imperatively] "Tell her to come here." [My friend came 
up close, and the medium felt over her face.] P. : " Ha ! she is good ; but 
she is not very well — nervous — I don't mean irritable, but weak nerves. 
She thinks too much. She has had a great deal of trouble, but it has not 
been her own fault." [Here Phiuuit seemed inclined to go on about the- 
lady in question, but she said : "I don't want you to tell me anything about 
me," and I recalled him to the articles I had brought, and said I wanted him 
to tell me about them.] P. : " Qui, oui — yes, I will ; but I have to go a long- 
way off. " 

1. Lochet. — [Here medium began fingering the locket all over.] P. : 
"There is a lady connected with it. She has passed out of the body. A 
young lady, too. She speaks French. She is out of the body. Her name is 
Al — Aleece — Alice. Somebody here named Win — Winnie — William. [Here 
medium began to cough hard.] He makes me cough. Oh! very bad cough ; 
passed out of the body with — what you call it ? — lung trouble, consumption. 
A lady comes with him. ... I get the influence of a nice gentleman — 
he writes a good deal — a good head — a big head — a — what you call it? — 
good mind; but he is immensely extravagant." S.: "Can't you tell me 
v/ho this gentlemaii is ? Is he the one who coughs ? " P. : " No, no. Tliis 
is another influence. He has the locket. He has it." S. : " Do you mean 
it belongs to him?" P.: "Yes, he has it." [Here medium asked to 
have the locket opened, and then rubbed it all over her head, and finally 
held it for a full minute right on top of her head, breathing very 
heavily. I spoke, but got no answer. Then suddenly Phinuit's voice called 
out very loudly:] "Ha! I have it. This carries the mother's and the 
father's influence. It has hair — che.veux — two hairs in it. [Here medium 
began coughing again.] Too bad he has that cough. Tiiis takes me a long 
way — across water. [Coughed hard again.] Difliculty of the throat, but will 
improve — get better. Matured early — good mind. Too bad he has this 
trouble here. [I asked where, and medium placed her hand on my cliest.] 
Here, here ; and his heart was affected, too. Did you know that ? Well, it 
was so. [Fery emphatically.] You find out and tell them I say so, and it i.s. 
so. Gone avray across water. He is in spirit now. He has a good friend — 
Cory — Car — Carrie — Carey. Has a daughter living. . . . There is a. 
sjjirit I get called Marie— Mary — an aunt of the lady who owned it — a lady 
in the body who had it." Here the medium wandered a little, saying to tha 
sitter: "Do you know Simeons in the body — Hodgson? Ha gives me 
things I don't know, and wants me to find out for him," and as Phinuit 
seemed inclined to talk of other matters, I recalled the hjcket to his remem- 
brance, whereupon he said : ] " Oui, oui, but it takes me a long while, don't 
you know, to find out. I will find out — but it takes me far back — a long: 
way. [Here medium began fumbling with locket again, rubbing it on her 
head.] This has several influences about it. Did you know that ? Well, it. 
is so. An aunt — Marie — Mary — in the spirit. A good influence is connected 
with it. She passed out of the body with something internal — stomacli 
wrong. . . . Elizabeth — Elizabeth — do you know Elizabeth ? Elizabeth. 



Mr. R. Ilodijson. 

There is a picture here — there is hair here— two liairn. He was a good man, 
had a good mind. . . . Who is a Richard ^ Tliere is Richard here — do you 
know him? This has been laid away — not used all of the time. . . . I get 
El — Ellen — Elinor — a cousin — and a Julia. I see a hig building — a gentleman 
— tlie gentleman with good mind. Edward, his son, studying books in a large 
])lace. . . ." [Here medium seemed to be getting so confused that I 
said : " That is enough about the locket," and placed another object in her 
hand belonging to a different person. I regi'et this now, and tliink it was a 
mistake, as, later (m, the medium got the articles rather mixed, and if T had 
kept her to the one slie would possibly have got clearer indications concerning 
it. After telling a good deal about tlie two other oljjects, Pliinuit suddenly 
.Slid:] "There was something around the locket — give me what was 
around it." [Tlie wrapper, an envelope folded several times, was handed to 
the medium. She felt it all over and put it on top of her head, then 
said:] "Several influences about this. I can't tell much. Feel a doctor 
strongly I " [Medium threw the envelojie away and asked for locket again.] 
P. : " The gentleman wlio has this is physically well, and is fine, handsome — 
what you call it? — good, good-looking." [Here the sitter suggested the 
French phrase, "Un l>el homme," as Phinuit seemed to be waxing so enthu- 
siastic over the said gentleman's appearance. Pliinuit said, " Qui, oui," but 
did not repeat the idiom.] P. " He has light hair and complexion. He is a 
nice man, big head, writes a great deal. I see him in an office — he dictates 
to others." [Asked here what he meant exactly by dictating, as T thought 
giving orders niiglit be the sense intended ; but Phinuit explained that " the 
others around tlie nice gentleman wrote down what lie was saying."] P. : 
"He is a good man — I like his influence. Henry — do you know Henry? 
He will tell you who Henry is — ask him. I feel Henry's influence strong. 

[Here medium interpolated some remarks having evident reference 
to the other objects given her.] . . . He has a good mind — is intellectual. 
He has a wife wlio is a nice lady. I get Ag — Aug — August — A — U — G — U 
— S — T." [Thinking this might be a date wliicli would be useful I asked 
Phinuit about it, but could get nothing definite.] P. : "The locket has 
passed througli four lip.nds. A child had it first — given to a cliild." [This 
seemed to me so unlikely that I imagined Pliinuit to be off the track, and to 
put him upon it again I said : " Can't you tell me the name of the owner ? " 
Phinuit replied he "would try" — and spelled out G — E, J — E, Jose — 
Josey — G — E, but seemed very uncertain, and constantly apjjealed to me for 
corroboration, but I could not help at all as tlie Christian names were 
unknown to me.] P. : " Marie — the aunt out of the body — nice, good 
influence. I get William with it. His son's name spells with an "S." 

Je — Josey — no, that is not it. [I asked if Josephiui' was what he 
meant.] No, no, J — U — D — S — 0 — N. [Spelled out very rapidly, but did 
not seem satisfied with it.] . . . You tell the nice gentleman he is to go 
away unexpectedly- -will be called away suddenly. J — O — H — N [spelled 
out quickly]. Who is he ? Ell — Ellswart — Ellsworth. Do you know him ? 
George [came very suddenly]. No, that is not it. The gentleman had a 
friend Cory — Car — Carey. . . . Jo — Josey — Joseph [called out suddenly] 
— Joseph." S. : " Is that the name of the nice gentleman ? " P. : "There 
is a ' U ' and an ' E ' — Jose — Jo.seph." [Tliis last came quickly and with a 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance, 3 63 

certain tone of conviction, so I asked again if that was the gentleman's name, 
but Phinuit could not tell me.] 

Here I thought the medium had h&en long enough in trance — 45 minutes 
— and I said to Phinuit: "I think this is enough. I don't want to know 
any more." Whereupon Phinuit said hastily, angrily : " You can't send me 
away. I will go when I get ready." - I explained that I thought the medium 
would be too tii-ed and that it was enough. P. : "I will g<j when I get 
through. Don't you want me to find out something more for you ? " S. 
"No, that is all I want to know about the locket, Ac, &c." P. : [Eagerly.] 
" Well, I will tell you about yourself, then." [Here followed some amusingly 
correct characteristics of my own, very drolly phrased. He pronounced me 
to be physically well, but insisted that I slept with my head too high and that 
it was bad, must give it up ; mentioned some events likely to hajipen in the 
near future which have vaguely shajjed themselves in my own mind as among 
the possibilities. Here I said again : "I don't want to be told anything I 
know already." P. : " Don't you want to know any more 1 Ask me what- 
ever you want " [and after a little niore talk said :] " Now I am going," and 
shortly thereupon medium came out of the trance. 

What particularly struck me as very marked, and also curious in the 
whole experience, was the docility of the passive personality — calling itself 
Phinuit — to the influence of a strong will. Even when I did not Sf)eak my 
thought, but mentally willed that certain subjects should not be touched 
upon — as, for instance, recollections of some deceased relations of mine — it 
was odd to note how the medium would glance off suddenly and go upon 
quite a diflerent tack where my sphere was not armed against intrusion, such 
as temperamental facts, characteristics, habits, and so forth. 

2. FuYuj. — Sitter : "Here is a ring. Dr. Phinuit, I want you to tell me 
about." P.: "Do you know about it ? " S. : " No, I want yon to tell me.' 
P. : " I do not like the influence of this. It makes me feel bad — mcoivais — 
bad, bad. Someone connected with it who is wrong in her head — insane — 
a lady. She began to lose her mind at an early age. Oh 1 it makes me feel 
bad. . . . Bad influence. . . . Someone connected with it ^jassed 
out of the body with cancer. I do not like it." [Very positively said.] 
Here tlie medium seemed so distressed that the sitter took the ring fronx her 
hand and put a watch in place of it. 

3. Watch. — P. : "This is a better influence. [Here medium breathed 
very heavily and was quiet for what seemed fully two minutes.] Ha ! it 
takes me a long way. I can see the surroundings of tliat watcli. [Here 
medium wanted it opened for lier.] It had a curious looking chain — a — 
what you call it ? — fob. It has a gentleman's influence. Came from across 
the water many years ago. It lias been in Italy. The gentleman has passed 
out of the body. I see a brick hou3e, door in the centre, two windows over 
the door and two windows each side — no — one window each side of door. 
You come up to it Ijy a — what you call it ? — walk — path — and passing around 
the house at the end is a very singular looking tree. The man who has it i;-i 
in the body. There is a sister named Ann — Ann — Annie (suddenly). I get 
the name Elizabeth. Who is Elizabeth ?- -Eliza — Lizzie. I get Elizabeth 
strongly — and Henry, too. Heniy gave it to Elizabeth — is not that so ? " 
S. : ''I don't know — will have to ask." P. : " Well, it is so. I say it is so 

2lr. R. Hodgson. 

[angrily], and you will find it so when you ask. ... I fuel tlie influence 
of someone who worked with great, round rolling things." [A^arious occupa- 
tions here suggested, and finally Phinuit seemed to adopt tlie idea that it 
was a printing liouse he meant, for he innnediately after said :] "There was 
n brother who was a printer. He lias handled this. He has passed out of 
the body. He was Henry. Someone connected with it named Dav. — Davis. 

I see this now in a box with (jther things — little things — what 
you call them ? — trinkets — kept in cotton. It makes me sad now. Eliza- 
beth — Eliza — don't you know Elizal)eth ? There is an Eliza. [Very 
tively.] J — O — H — N [spelled rajjidly]. ... I get liim — who is he ? — 
and Jo — Joseph [called out quickly and positively]. . . . Jen — Je — Jes 
— Jenny. Ask who J — E — N, N — I — E is. . . ." [Here medium 
seemed to wander a little and presently called out : " What was around the 
locket ? Tliere was something around it " — and when wrapper was given her 
Phinuit resumed upon the locket.] 


None of the three articles in question were mentioned to Mrs. Piper 
before she went into trance, nor were they even taken out of the bag in which 
they were brought, or unwrapped, till they were handed to the medium. 
The sitter had handled them as little as j^ossible, and knew notliing whatever 
of their associations, and in the matter of the locket did not even know the 
owner. Nor did the lady who t(.iok the notes at the sitting know anything 
whatever concerning the articles. 

1. Lucket. — I got the locket the evening before the sitting, through a friend 
whom I met by accident in the street, and upon stating to her that I wanted 
isome personal article of an individual unknown to me, she said: " We are 

close to Mr. 's office and I will go in and ask him if he happens to have 

any trinket aljout him tliat he will lend." I waited outside in the street till 
my friend returned with a little object wraj^ped up in a paper envelope and 
handed it to me, saying that "she knew what it was, Intt knew nothing of 
its history," &c. I was not told what tlie article was, nor was I acquainted 
with tlie owner — had never seen him and knew only his surname in a casual 
way. I did not hjok at tlie object given till the sitting witli Mrs. Piper v/as 
over and she had come out of the trance, when we both examined it. 

The gentleman who owns the locket bought it for himself when a cJiild, 
quite a little fellow, with some money tliat had been given him as a present. 
It liad been jnit away for many years and quite forgotten ; seven or eight 
years ago it was by chance recalled to his memory, which occasioned a search 
for it, and, when found, he attached it to his watch-chain, and has worn it 
since. The locket within lias a picture of the owner's mother on one side, 
and the hair of his father and mother on the other. The gentleman who had 
fi cough, owner identifies as an uncle — Charles by name — a brother of his 
mother. He liimself never saw this uncle Charles, but remembers, when a 
little boy, hearing him spoken of as out of health — in his own words, "A 
physical wreck " ; that he had consumption, and went to Soutli Africa, where 
he seemed for a time to improve, but finally died tliere. Owner knows no 
name like Cory or Carey in connection vvitli the locket, and, in fact, cannot 
verify any of the names. He says tliey may all be correct for all lie knows 

Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance. 1G5 

■Tind belong to difFerent members of his motlier'.s family, v/lio lived in Scot- 
land, and lie has never been brought into contact vrith any of them, his 
mother having been tlie eldest of a family of 10 or 12, and she married early 
and came to this country, where he was born and has always lived. He never 
inew any of his aunts, uncles, or cousins till a few years ago, when he went 
Jibroad and met certain ones who'come in later in connection with this. 

He says his mother might have had a sister Mavij ; he has a sister 
living christened Mary Ann, now called Marian, and that at one time the 
locket may have been in her keeping, but he is not sure of this. 

The " son, studying books in a large building upstairs," owner thinks is 
an allusion to a cousin of his, whose chance acquaintance he made in England 
•some years ago. This young cousin was the son of an aunt ; Iiis father was 

very proud of the lad's cleverness and took Mr. to see him. They 

found the boy in a large building up some stairs, surrounded by books, which 
he v/as studying. He cannot remember whether the young man's name was 
Edioard or not, as he was merely introduced to him and never saw liini 
afterwards, nor has even thought of the incident till brouglit up in this 

The doctor mentioned when the envelope was handled, owner tliinks 
may be an allusion to his father-in-law, who was a physician, and there was. 
a very intimate relation between them. 

Knows nothing about the name Judson, or ElLswoi-th. 

Thinks the attempts to find out his own name were good, his names 
being Josej^h George, and there is a " TJ " and an " E " in his surname. His 
mother's name was Elizabeth. Thinks the allusion to some throat difficulty, 
in contradistinction to the lung trouble connected with the uncle, refers to 
his mother, for she suffered with a bronchial affection which occasioned 
severe spasms in the throat for some years, and she finally died of tlie 
malady — has been dead many years. He thinks the allusions, "good mind 
— matiu'ed early," refer also to his mother, who was very quick, intelligent, 
and capable. He says the allusions to himself are true : he i'*- very 
extravagant — to use his own words : " Has had two fortunes and has gone 
through both of them " ; is physically well, has a big head ; v/rites, but 
dictates more — says he is " too lazy to write himself v/hen he has others 
to do it for him." Has a wife, and she it was who hunted up and found the 
locket, when it had been so long laid away and forgotten. Says it would be 
impossible at this distance of time to verify any of the names. They are 
none of them familiar to him except Elizabeth — his mother's, and Alice — that 
of his little niece [who is living, seven years old, and does not "speak 
French "]. 

My friend who asked Mr. for the locket says the description of him 

is excellent as to appearance. He has a big head, is intellectual — is very 

good-looking, and is a very kind, generous-hearted man. Mr. says he 

knows of nothing likely to call him away suddenly in the matter of his 

2. Ring. — The ring and watch were handed to me just as I was going to 
keep my appointment with Mrs. Piper. They were in a box, tied up. I 
had never seen them, and did not even know of their existence tUl entrusted 
to my keeping. The oivner is known to me, but not intimately, so that I 


Mr, R. Hodgson. 

knew notliiug wluituver of tlie circumstances connected with the articles,, 
which the owner pruniiunces to l)e correctly stated in every particular, but 
has never before .si^oken of them to anyone. 

The ring, an old-fashioned gold one, with English hall-marks on the 
inner rim, and a few small sti:)nes set in the middle, was given to present owner 

by a young man named J ohn . Ov/ner always suspected him of having 

stolen it, as he was of bad character, and would not say how he had come by 
it. Owner never would wear it, and has often thouglit of throwing it away,, 
but has kept it in a box with some other old-time trinkets done up in cotton, 
the watch being one of them. 

Tlie young man's father owed a large siuu of mimey to the mother of the 
present owner of ring, but there having been no papers to prove the loan, 
upon the mother's decease tlie father of .John [wlio gave the ring] repu- 
diated the debt altogetlier, whicli naturally caused much trouble and bad 
feeling. The father died of cancer in the stomach. Present owner has a 
sister, who, at the age of three years, had a great fright from being left alone 
in a burning house. When rescued she could make no audible sound, and 
gradually became entirely idiotic. She is now fifty years old. Her name is^ 
Elizal)eth — was called Eliza and Lizzie. Present owner of ring had sole 
charge of her for many years, but on her becoming worse she was jilaced in 
an institution for the insane, where she now is. She haw always been a great 
care and anxiety to the present owner of ring. 

3. Watcli. — The watch is also old-fashioned, witli a gold engraved back 
and dial, and is of Geneva make. It was bought by an uncle of present 
owner while he was abroad. His name was Joseph, and he lived quite a while 
in Italy. Does not know of his having been a jjrinter, but may possibly have 
been one. He always W()re the watch, and at his death it came to the 
mother of present owner. The mother used often to give the watch to the 
insane daugliter, Elizabeth, as it amused her and kept her quiet. The owner 
cannot identify the building so minutely described, but thinks there is some- 
where in the family a picture of some such liouse, and will endeavour to look 
it up. Present owner has another sister living, named Annie. John was 
tlie name f>f tlie young man who gave the ring. Joseph the name (if the 
uncle who had the watcli. Owner keeps in same box with watcli and ring a 
little crystal seal witli .Joseph engraved on it, wliicli belonged to the uncle. 
Jesse (not Jen-nie) was the name of the mother of present owner. 

[Miss A.] 

T have ascertained from Miss A. that her companion at the sitting 
liad never seen Mrs. Piper before. This lady herself writes : — • 

Odohcr 21sl, 1891. 

To Me. Hodgson, — I desire to verify Miss [A.'s] statement, that I Imew 
oiolhinrj of the articles submitted to Mrs. Piper duiing the siltiitfj at her 
house recently. 

T know the owner of the watcli and ring, and though my acquaintance 
with her is less than Miss [A.'s] I know her to be a truthful and reliable 
person, and I believe her report relating to the history of these articles to be 
strictly true. 

Observations of Certain Fhenoraena of Trance 1G7 

I have also received the following statement : — 

October 21d, 18111. 

This is to certify, as the owner of tlie ring and watch given to Miss [A.] 
f( ir the sitting witli Mrs. Piper, that I am positive Miss [A.] did not know any 
■oi the family or otlier circumstances connected with the articles, all of which 
were truly stated by Mrs. Piper. 

The day before the sitting I had taken a l)rooch for Miss [A.] to use in 
the sitting, but on second thouglits I believed the ring and watch would Ijc 
better, as I wanted to find out, if possible, wlio first had the ring, and how 
the person who ga\'e it to me got it. I brought the ring and watch to Miss 
[A.] tlie next morning in a box with an elastic Ijand round it, and told her 
nothing but that a ring and watch were inside. 

I have never spoken to her of our family connections, and she could 
know nothing about them. 

The owner of the locket rej^lies to my questions : — 

Q. Were any names or initials on locket ? A. No. <.^. Had Uncle 
Charles any other Christian name ? A. Don't remember. Was he the 
brother of owner's mother ? A. Yes. Q. Was the locket neio when bought 
hy present owner ? A. Yes. Q. Did the Uncle Charles have a friend with 
a name anything like Cory or Carey ? A. Don't remember. Q. Has he a 
daughter living ! A. Don't know. Q. Has this Cory or Carey a daughter 
living ? A. Don't know. Q. Did owner's mother have a sister Mary ? A. 
Yes. Q. Did his mother have an Aunt Mary ? A. Yes. Q. Was tins Mary 
•closely connected with a William '? A. Owner's mother's sister Mary's hus- 
Ijand was named William. Q. Will you inform me if the owner should soon 
be called away suddenly ? A. Not yet. Q. Will the owner try to identify 
the following names, probably connected with his mother '! Richaitl, Ellen 
or Elinor — cousin of owner or owner's mother — Julia, Edward, Henry. 
A. Mother's brother named " Henry," living. Don't rememlier [the others]. 
The owner of the ring and watch replies to my (juestiinis : — 
Q. Were any names or initials on ring or w^atch ? A. N<i. Q. Did the 
owner of watch identify the Henry referred to ? A. No. Q. Does the owner 
recognise any name like Ellsworth ? A. No. 

I have records of various sittings^with Mrs. Piper since October 
16th, 1891. These are reserved for later publication, except several 
incidents which have an immediate and important bearing on the 
name of Phinuit. I have referred to these incidents in tlie course of 
my introduction. 

General Meetings. 


The 51st General Meeting <>f the Society was held at the AVest- 
niuister Town Hall, on Friday, March 4tli, 1892, at 8.30 ixm., the 
President in tlie chair. 

Mr. Myers -read a paper on " Indications of Continued Knowledge 
of Terrene Events shown by Phantasms of the Dead," printed below„ 

The r)L>nd General Meeting was held at the same place, on Friday, 
April 8th, at 4 p.m. The chair was taken by Professor 0. Lodge. 

Mr. Myers gave an address on " Hypermnesic Dreams," being a 
further portion of his study of the Subliminal Consciousness. This,, 
with " The Mechan.ism of Genius," given at the 50th General Meeting, 
is printed below. 

"A Recjrcl of a Haunted House," l^y the chief percipient in the 
case, a lady known t:> Mr. Myers, was also read by him and is printed 

The 53rd General Meeting was held at the same place, on Friday,. 
May ■27th, at 8.30 p.m., the President in the chair. 

A paper by Mrs. H. SiDcaviCK, on " Further Experiments in 
Thought-Transference," was read. It is proposed to print this in a. 
subsequent imml)er of the Proceeding.?. 

Portions of a paper by Dr. Hodosox, printed below, on " Mr. 
Davey's Imitations by Conjuring of Phenomena sometimes attributed 
to Spirit Agency," were read by Mr. Myers. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 


By Feederic W. H. Myers. 

ajSdrav SXa klovchv vTrip HpajcXeo? nepav evfjiapis' 

6vp€, Tiva TTpos dWoSaTTuv . 
UKpav epuu ttKoov 77apap.(ll3eai ; . • 


Whatevei- else a ghost may be, it is prubably one of the most com- 
plex phenomena in nature. The l^riefest and simplest veridical apparition, 
suggests a series of questions which as yet we are unable even to formu- 
late with any distinctness. Let us consider for a moment how many 
difficulties, and of what vaiious kinds, are involved in the very attempt 
to grasp distinctly the nature of any such occurrence. In the first 
place there is the evidential question. We have to satisfy ourselves 
that the alleged apparition was actually seen, and that it corresponded 
with some objective event in such away as to raise a strong presumption 
that it had more than a merely subjective oi'igin ; — was not due, I mean, 
to some condition which affected the peroijsient alone, and involved the 
operation of no other intelligence. This evidential question is of course 
of primary importance ; and our efforts have mainly been, and for a 
long time yet must mainly be directed towards the attainment of an 
answer which shall cany conviction to all uul)iassed minds. But 
while still keeping the evidential question foremost in our regaixl, we 
may of course at the same time endeavour to discuss some of the fui'ther 
questions to which the evidence, when duly sifted, is found to point. 
Thus we may ask ourselves what proportion the ;\pparitions which we 
deem veridical bear to the phantasmal figures for which we can advance 
no such claim. We may ask, again, what proportion the supposed 
veridical apparitions of the dead bear to veiidical apparitions of liviiig 
persons, or of persons at the point of death. Such questions are likely 
to be answered more fully tlian heretofore when the results of the 
Census of Hallucinations, now being conducted in several countries for 
report to the approaching International Congress of Expeiimental 
Psychology, are laid before the public. 

Furthermore it is natural to inquire as to the relation between the 
frequency of veridical apparitiojis and the time which has elapsed since 
the death of the person whose phantasm is perceived. A first provi- 
sional answer to this question was attempted by Mr. Gurney and 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, &c. 171 

myself. (Vol. V., p. 40-3, sqq.) Once more, before actually committing 
ourselves to any hypothesis involving so extreme a supposition as the 
continued action of dead men, we may natui'ally inquire, as Mr. 
Podmore has done (Vol. VI., p. 229, sqq.), whether these soi-diacuit 
apparitions of the dead may not still be explained by the more familiar 
coaiception of telepathy between the living. In my reply, which imme- 
diately follows Mr. Podmore's paper, I have set forth cei'tain reasons 
which seem to me to make this explanation insufficient. I am there- 
fore, for my part, bound to go on and to face the enormous difficulties 
involved in the very idea of intercourse between an incarnate and a 
discarnate mind. 

Our attempt to study such intercourse may begin at either end of 
the communication, — with the percipient or with the agent. We 
.shall have to ask. How does the incarnate mind receive the message 1 
and we shall have to ask also. How does the discarnate mind originate 
and convey it ? 

Now it is by pressing the foraier of these two questions that we 
have, I think, the best chance at present of gaining fresh light. So 
long as we are considering the incarnate mind we are to some extent 
at least on known ground ; and we may hope to discern analogies in 
some other among that mind's ojjerations to that possibly most perplex- 
ing of all its operations which consists in taking cognisance of 
messages from unembodied minds, and from an unseen world. I think, 
therefore, that "the surest way, though most about," as Bacon would 
say, to the comprehension of this sudden and startling phenomenon 
lies in the study of other rare mental phenomena which can be 
observed more at leisure ; — just as " the surest way, though most about," 
to the comprehension of some blazing inaccessible star has lain in tlie 
patient study of the spectra of the incandescence of terrestrial substances 
which lie about our feet. I am in hopes that by the study of various 
forms of subliminal consciousness, subliminal faculty, subliminal per- 
ception, we may ultimately (jljtain a concepti(jn of our own total 
being and operation which may show us the incarnate mind's percep- 
tion of the discarnate mind's message as no isolated anomaly, bvit an 
orderly exercise of natural and innate powers, frequently observed in 
action in somewhat similar ways. 

But although approaching the problem with most hope by thi.s 
purely terrene inquiry, we must not neglect any indication which the 
evidence offers as to the other and remoter side of the act of com- 
munication ; — as to the condition in which the discarnate mind appears 
to be when communicating, or the apparent motive of his message, or 
the apparent knowledge which he possesses either of what may be 
passing in an unseen world, or of what has passed in this world since 
his earthly death. 



Mr. F. W. TI. Myers. 

On none of these points, I may say at once, have ^ve as yet any- 
thing more than scattered indication and dubious inference. Yet none 
the less are we bound to set foith our fragments of knowledge as best 
we may ; — in the hope that the direction of attention to these various, 
points in turn may lead to widei' interest in the subject, more intelli- 
gent obsei'vation, m(.)re careful record. 

And having now a group of unpuljlished cases (largely due to Dr.. 
Hodgson's energy in collection) to offer to our readers, I take occasion: 
to arrange them in such a way as may throw some little light on the 
last of the proljlems on Avhich I ha\-e touched ; — namely, the question of 
coiithmous knowledge ; — or, How far do phantasms of the dead indicate 
any acquaintance with terrestial facts of whicli they were not aware 
while they yet lived on earth 1^ 

And here it looks as though we might best begin l)y asking whether 
these phantasms always show a memory of facts which they did know 
while on eai'th ; — whether we can assume that they start with at least, 
that equipment, while we inquire into any fresh knowledge which they 
may since have gained. But this difficult question may be, I think, 
more conveniently kept separate from the inquiry which I now projjose, 
and discussed elsewhere in connection with the more general question of 
the persistence or otherwise of the same chain of memory in different, 
p.sychical states. 

I proceed, therefore, to our nmre limited question. And hei'e in 
the first place it is evident that the narratives with which we have to 
deal may 1>3 classed in three main groups, with reference to this special 
inquiry. First we shall have cases where the phantasm is such as to 
give no indicatitni whatever of either knowledge or ignorance of what 
has occurred on earth since the assumed agent's death. Secondly, the 
phantasm may indicate ignorance of what has thus occurred. Thirdly, 
it may indicate knowledge : — and this in \%vy varying degrees, — from a 
mere realisation of some scene immediately following death, up to a 
more than terrene comj^rehension of complex circumstances, — a more 
than terrene power of predicting events yet to be. 

On the first (and largest) of these three groujDS I need not linger long. 
All will admit that the phantasm is usually so fugitive a thing that, 
))eyond its mere identification with some departed person, little or 
nothing can be inferred in detail. I will cite in illustration a case 
recently received. 

G. 203. 

We owe this case to the kindness of Lady Gore Bootli, from whom I first 

1 111 ai).aper in Vol. VI., p. 13, .S'yr/., I Lave arranged another batch of material 
in a .somewhat simihir way, and have given reference.s to other pijbli.shed cases which 
1 need not here repeat. As the evidence increases it becomes needful to keep many 
narratives in mind, if we ai'e to understand any of them ai'ight. • 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 173 

heard the account by wdwI of iiKuitli. Hev son (then a schoolboy aged 10) was 
the percipient, and her ytamgest daughter, tlien aged 15, also gives a first- 
hand accomit of the incident as follows : — 

Lissadell, Sligo, Fehntarij, 1891. 
On the 10th of April, 1889, at about lialf-past nine o'clock a. hi., niy 
youngest brother and I were going down a short flight of stall's leading to the 
kitchen, to fetch food for my chickens, as usual. We were about half way 
down, my brother a few steps in advance of me, when he suddenly said — 
"Why, there's John Blaney, I didn't knijw he was in the house I ' .John 
Blaney was a boy who lived not far from us, and he had Ijeen empLiyed in 
the house as hall-boy not long before. I said that I was sure it was not he, 
(for I knew he had left some months previously on account of ill-health), and 
looked down into the passage, but saw no one. The passage was a long one, 
with a rather sharp turn in it, so we ran quickly down the last few steps, and 
looked round the corner, but nobody was there, and the only door he could 
have gone through was shut. As we went upstaii's my brother said, " How 
pale and ill John looked, and why did he stare so ? " I asked what he was 
doing. My brother answered that he had his sleeves turned up, and was 
wearing a large green apron, sucli as the footmen always wear at their work. 
An hour or two afterwards I asked my maid liow long John Blaney had been 
back in the house ? She seemed much surprised, and said, ' ' Didn't you 
hear, miss, that he died this morning V On inquiry we found he h;ul died 
about two hours Ijefore my brother saw him. My mother did not wish that 
my brother sh(ndd be t(jld this, but he heard of it somehow, and at once 
declared that he must ha\"e seen his ghost. 

Mabel Olive Gore Booth. 

Tlie actual percipient's independent account is as follows : — 

March, 1891. 

We were going downstairs to get food for Mabel's fowl, wlien I saw John 
Blaney walking round the corner. I said to Mabel, "Tliat's .J(.)hn BLmey ! '' 
but she could not see him. Wlien we came up afterwards we f(jund he was 
dead. He seemed to me to look rather ill. He looked yellow ; his eyes 
looked hollow, and he liad a green apron on. 


We have received the fullowing confirmation of the date of death : — 

I certify from the jiarish register of deaths that John Blaney (Dunfore) 
was interred on tlie 12th day of April, 1889, liaving died on the 10th day of 
April, 1889. P. J. Shemaghs, CO. 

The Presbytery, Ballingal, Sligo. 
10th Fehniarij, 1891. 

Lady Gore Booth writes :— May 31d, 1890. 

When my little boy came upstairs and told us lie had seen John Blaney, 
we thought nothing of it till some hours after, when we heard that he was 
dead. Then for fear (A frightening the children, I avoided any allusion to 
what he had told us, and asked everyone else to do the same. Probably liy 
now he has forgotten all about it, but it certainly was very remarkable, 
especially as only one child shav him, and they were standing together. The 


Mr. F. W. II. Myers. 

place where he seeins to have appeared was in the passage outside the pantry 
door, where John Blaney's work always took him. My boy is a very matter 
of fact sort of boy, and I never heard of his having any other hallucination. 

G. GoKE Booth. 

Now this ap2:iai'ition — unless we exj^lain it as a telej^athic impres- 
sion projected at tlie moment of death and remaining latent foi- some 
hours before it attained externalisation — may jDOSsibly be taken as show- 
ing something of continued memory in the dejoarted boy. Something of 
him or from him, it may be said, reverted to well-known haunts, and 
was discerned in habitual surroundings. But even of this there is no 
sure indication. If it be suggested that the dead boy waited to mani- 
fest until his young master reached a suitable spot, it may be replied 
that the living Ijoy's j)resence in that spot merely enabled him to 
discern some influence which might have been discernible in that spot 
possibly at any moment duiing some hours, if the fitting percipient had 
been at hand. Oi' else, and perhaps more simply, we may suppose tliat 
there was a mere influence transmitted from the departed mind to the 
living mind, which influence the li^-ing mind discerned when in sur- 
roundings in which its own recollection of the decedent might most 
readily be evoked.^ 

Let us turn to the second of our three groups, the cases (if such 
there be) where the phantasm appeai-s to show ignorance of what has 
taken jjlace since the agent's death. May we ascribe to this group 
certain cases already published where the phantasm seems to return to 

1 As bearing wpon the terror whicli is popularly supposed to be inspired by any 
manifestation of the so-called " supernatural,'' it is worth remarking that in cases like 
the above, where the death was not known, and the phantasm appears in natural 
surroundings, it frequently ha])pens that no terror at all is felt by the percipient. On 
the f>ther hand, when the death is known (and the apparition, therefore, of no e\ iden- 
tial value), there may be extreme terror. But that terror is in itself no proof that the 
Xshantasm in such cases is anything more than a mere after-image. I subjoin a curious 
case which was sent to Dr. Hodgson by Mr. Frank Cornell, of Athens, Ont., to whom 
Mr. Barnes' first letter is addressed. 

" In accordance with your request to give niy recent experience for the benefit of 
the Society for Psychical Research,! \vould say : On the 4th of the present month my 
grandmother, .Jane Elizabeth Barnes, died, and ^^■as buried on the Gth. On Saturday 
evening, the Tthinst., my father and mother drove over to my uncle's, with whom my 
grandmother had resided many years previous to her death, lea^■ing me alone. I had 
no thought of being afraid, and as it became dark I lit a lamp and placed it on a table 
in the room ; took my pipe and began to smoke. I sat thus for some time thinking 
over business matters, but my thoughts were in no way connected with my grand- 

Having finished smoking, I laid my pipe on a stand near by, and my dog coming- 
to me, jumped upon my lap, and I began to play with \ma. All at once I became 
conscious of the presence of someone in the room, and on looking up I plainly saw my 
grandmother sitting on a coucli directly in front of me. I was not frightened at first, 
but astonishment held me fast. I noticed her dress, the same she usually \vore when 
alive ; one hand rested on her lap, the <jther was by her side. I noticed particularly 
every feature ; her face wore the same expression as in life. The distance between us 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 175 

a place rather than to a j^erson ? where, perhaps, it seems to be looking' 
for a person who is no longei' in the accustomed j^lace ? 

I do not think that we can safely thus interpret these cases of local 
attraction. For aught we know, the impulse of the discarnate mind 
may have gone forth to the familiar house quite irrespective of its 
present occupants. Or in some of these cases our nearest analogy may not 
ba the projection of an impulse, but rath«r the persistence of a picture. 
It may 1)3 that the departed person's semblance is seen in that house 
because he once lias been there ; and not because, in any sense, he is 
thei« still. 

Bat there are other cases where the phantasm seems to be not 
merely attracted to a place, but absorl)ed in some train of thought 
which was natural at the time of death, but has since become inappro- 
priate. Thus in Mr. Lewis's case (^Proceedings, Vol. III., p. 93) the 
clergyman whose visit the decedent had desired, and who would gladly 
have paid that visit, had he known of the decedent's illness, saw the 
phantasm, two days after death, pursuing him with a gaze of reproach. 
The decedent thus appeared to prolong a feeling of resentment which he 
might have learnt to be unjust. 

Very similar is a case quoted in Annales des Sciences Fsyc]iiques„ 
No. T., p. 31, sqq., and which may be summarised as follows ; — 

^' Observation de Muntijellier. 

Tliis case consists of a dream of distressing vividness, dreamt hy M. 
Noell, now a chemist at Cette, at 4 a.m., November 24th, 1869. 

was not m')re than ten feet. Not until I had noted every particular did I realise the 
strangeness of the occurrence. No sooner had I thought of this than fear seized me, 
and I started for the door, intending to go to a neighbour some ten feet distant. I 
remember nothing further until I found myself on the bed in my neighbour's house. 

I am twenty-four years of *ge, have a good common school education, am strictly 
temperate, never believed in ghosts, am not a si:)iritualist, had not been reading any 
e.tciting literature. I can offer no explanation ; can say, however, that it all happened. 

Athens, Leeds Co., Ont. Samuel E. B.\knes." 

Fehraary l\th, 1S91. 

"This is to certify that on the evening of the 7th of February, about 7.30 o'clock, 
I heard something fall against the door, and on opening it I found Samuel Barnes in an 
insensible condition. I took him in and used means to restore him. After some time 
he said, ' I have seen," but w as too weak to finish. In the course of an hour he was 
sufficiently restored to talk, and related the story as given above. I have known 
B.xrnes for years, and believe his testimony to be reliable. y^^^ Pe \ece " 

Athens, February 1-ith, 1891. 

Mr. Barnes further writes to Dr. Hodgson under date January 22nd, 1802 : — 
" I can say I have never fainted or become imconscious in my life except when I 
saw the appai-ition of my grandmother. SiMUET Barnes " 

Mr. Cornell adds that Mr. Barnes does not remember anything regarding the 
behaviour of the dog, and has ne\er had anj' other psychical experience. This may 
have been nothing more than an after-image ; but the shock given was greater than in 
most veridical cases. 


J//'. F. W. H. Myers. 

He first mentions the fact (cunfirmed l.iy tlie register of deatlis) that liis 
favourite sister died suddenly from diplitlieria, at Perpignan, at 5 a.m. [the 
•o^iicial register says at 4], November 23rd, 1869. Slie had been perfectly 
well up to within 13 hours of death. The telegrams which the family sent 
to the absent brother were not delivered, owing to the fault of a servant. 

" During the night of November 23-24," he proceeds, in a letter to Dr. 
Dariex, dated Cette, January 7th, 1891, "I was the ])rey of a terrible 
hallucination. I had returned to my lodgings at 2 a.m., my mind at rest, and 
still dwelling upon the pleasure which I had felt during the 22nd and 23rd, 
wliich had been spent in a party of pleasure. I went liappily to l)ed and fell 
asleep in five minutes. 

"At 4 a.m. I saw before me the face of my sister, pale, covered withldood, 
and lifeless, and I heard a piercing, reiterated cry : ' What are you doing, 
my Louis'^ Gomel come!' In my agitated sleep 1 seemed to take a 
carriage ; but alas I in spite of suj^erhuman effort i I could not make it go on. 
And I still saw my sister's face, and heard that same cry. 

"I woke suddenly — )ny face red, my head on fire, my tliroat dry. but my 
body streaming with 23ers2)iration. ... At eleven I readied the phar- 
maceutical school, a prey to an insurm juut ible melancholy. Questioned 
by my comrade3, I told them the crude fact, as I had experienced it. 

[He describes how his surviving sister came to tell him of his loss 
and the tarrible shock which the news gave him.] Two hours afterwards, 
when I had become more calm, I described to my sister my hallucination 
of the previous night." 

Mile. Th^rese Noell fully confirms her brother's recollection of tlie circimi- 
stances, and of liis having at once inf.)rmed her of the hallucination or 

Now here also the decedent appears still to be feeling grieved sur- 
pi-ise at her brother's absence from her death-bed ; although a clair- 
voyant knowledge, had she acquired such knowledge by death, might 
have informed hei- that liis absence was due only to his non-receipt of 
certain telegrams.^ 

We may, however, doubt wlietlier in sucli cases there is any fresh 
realisation of the circumstances on the decedent's part, or whether tlie 
mood exliiljitefl may not l)e a mere dreamlike prolongation of the dis- 
tress or anxiety which was felt at the moment of death. I cannot 
recall any instances where the phantasm of a jjerson who has been dead 
for more than a few days has shown any definite misapprehension of 
facts. And this notion of a prolonged dream is countenanced by cei'- 

' Those who believe in telepathj', but are unwilling ti> extend it lieyoud the 
grave, may urge tliat there was in fact a living mind - that of Mile. Therese Noell— 
which was still perplexed as to the brother's absence,— and which jjerhaps dwelt on him 
with special intensity as the hour of the death came round. That the interval n-ns 
just 24 hours is rendered highly probable by the fact that M. Noell has not 
himself perceived this coincidence ;— but has placed his sister's death at 5 (instead of 
4), and, through some confusion, descrities his own vision at 4 a.m. as occurring 
18 liours after the death . 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoidedge, Xr. 177 

tain cases where the decedent exhibits traces of his fatal malady ; 
either in his worn appearance, as in Mrs. Lewin's case {Proceedings, 
Vol. v., p. 462), or in the phantasmal sound of coughing, as in a case 
contributed by the Dowager Marchioness of Downshire, and not 
jet published, though printed in the S.P.R. Journal, Octolier, 1890, 
p. 308. ., 

G. 196. Visual and Auditory. 

The percipient in this case is doad, and the account is, therefore, nt 
second hand as regards his experience ; but, as will he seen, it is at lirst 
hand for certain important details. 

December Wth, 1889. 
It may have been in 1850 or soon after. We had a French cook, who 
had been several years with us, named Cartel. It wAi in July, when lie 
caught a violent cold, which became inflammation of the lungs, etc., and the 
man was dangerously ill. Two doctors attended liim. Tlie weather being 
extremely hot, and his bedroom over the kitchen, I had him moved into a 
best spare bedroom, wiiere he continued very ill and had a fearful cough. 
At last tlie doctors said tliey could do no more for him, and he was dying. 
I asked their permission to try mesmerism. Of course they laughed at me, 
but admitted it could do no harm. I sent for Fisher, a professional mes- 
merist. Cartel was mesmerised three times a day, and rapidly improved. At 
the end of a fortnight the doctors (who had not given up attending him) 
pronounced him out of danger, and advised Fisher being sent away. He 
went, but after a day or two poor Cartel began to fail again, and died, 
though I liad Fisher back. As I mentioned, it Avas venj hot weather, and, 
ixfter the poor man's death, I liad the room in which lie died dismantled, the 
window left open day and night, and the door locked. It remained so for 
two or three months, as well as I remember, and then, as we were going to 
have the house full, the furniture was all rei^laced, and Mr. Popham, of 
Littlecote, was i^ut into that bedroom. A day or two afterwards Mr. 
Popham said, "I have seen a ghost." He then told us that the previous 
night he vfas reading in bed, when lie heard a man coughing fearfully in his 
room. He could not understand it, as he could see no one, though he 
searched tlie room. He went on reading, and then suddenly looking up he 
saw a head (only) at the foot of Ids bed. He described tlie features, which 
were tliose of Cartel, exactly, tliougli Mr. Popham had never seen liim, and 
liad never lieard of liis illness or death. After that several people slept iu 
the room, but notliiiig was ever seen or heard. 

C. Downshire. 

Virgil's assertion as to the persistence of bodily evils — 

Non tamen omne malum miseris, nec funditus omnes 
Corporeae excedunt pestes — 

may contain much of truth ; yet we can hardly suppose that the 
central current of the intelligence of a departed spirit is unaware that 
he has at any rate shaken himself clear of pulmonary mici-obes. 

It is true that we sometimes find a moral situation apparently much 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

further pi'<.il(nigeil, a> in the tV)llowhig case, Avhich seems intermediate 
between such cases as Mrs. Lewin's and a " haunt " of the traditional 


G. 205. 

The fc,)ll(.)wing narrative was sent to us witli the true names, but with 
a re(juest to conceal them, and some local details, on account of the painful 
nature of the incident described. 

Our informant, wliom I will call Mrs. M., writes under date December- 
Loth, 181)1. 

"Before relating my experience of having seen a, I should like my 
readers thoroughly to understand that 1 had not the slightest idea that the 
house in which my husband and I were living was haunted, or that the family 
residing there iov many years before us had had any family troubles. The 
house was delightfully situated [ttc.]. The house being partly new and partly 
old, we occupied the old part for our sleeping apartments. There were two 
staircases leading to them, with a landing and window, adjoining a morning 
sitting-room. (.>ne night on retiring to my bedroom about 11 o'clock, I 
thought I heard a peculiar moaning sound, and someone sobbing as if in great 
distress of mind. I listened very attentively, and still it continued ; so I 
raised the gas in my boilrooni, and tlien went to the landing window of which 
I have spoken, di-ew tlie lilind aside ; — and tliere on the grass was a very beauti- 
ful young girl hi a kneeling posture befoi'e a soldier, in a general's uniform, 
sobbing, and clasping lier hands togetlier, entreating for pardon ; — but, alas ! 
he only waved her away from him. So mucli did I feel for the girl, that 
witliout a moment's hesitation I ran down the staircase to the door opening 
upon tlie lawn, and begged her to come in, and tell me her sorrow. The 
figures then disappeared ! Not in tlie least nervous did I feel then ; — went 
again to my Ijedi'oom, took a sheet of writing-papei' and ivi'ote down what I 
had seen. [Mrs. M. has found and sent us this paper. The following words 
are written in pencil on a half slieetof notepaper : " Marcli 13th, 188(5. Have 
just seen visions on lawn : — a soldier in general's uniform, — a young lady 
kneeling to him. 11.40 p.m."] My liusband was away from home when this 
event occurred, ljut a lady friend was staying witli me, so I went to lier bed- 
room and told her that I had been rather frightened with some noises ; — could 
I stay with lier a little while ? A few days afterwards I found myself in a 
very nervous state ; but it seemed so strange that I was not friglitened at the 

It appears the story is only too true. Tlie youngest daughter of this 
very old, proud family had had an illegitimatj child ; and her parents and 
relatives would not recognise her again, and slie died broken-hearted. The 
soldier was a near relative (also a connection of my husband's) ; and it was in 
vain she tried to gain his — the soldier's — forgiveness. [In a subsequent letter 
Sir X. Y.'s career is described. He was a distinguished officer.] 

" So vivid was my remembrance of the features of the soldier that some 
months after the occurrence, when I happened to be calling with my husband 
at a house where there was a portrait of him, I stejiped before it and said : 
' Why, look I There is the General ! ' And sure enough it was." 

In a subsequent letter Mrs. M. writes : " I did see the figures on the lawn 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoviedge, <L-c. I7i> 

after opening tlie door leading on to tlie luwn ; and they by no means dis- 
appeared instantly, but more like a dissolving view, viz., gradually; and I did 
not leave the door until they had jjassed away. It was imjjossible for any real 
persons to act such a scene. . . . The General was born and died in [th& 
liouse where I saw him]. ... I was not aware that tlie portrait of the 
General was in that room [where I saw it] ; it was the first time I had been 
in that room. The misfortune to the poor girl happened in 1847 or 1848.'' 
Mrs. M. then mentions that a respectable local tradesman, hearing of the- 
incident, remarked : " That is not an unconnuon thing to see her about the- 
place, jjoor soul I She was a badly used girl. ' 

Mr. M. writes as follows, under date December 23rd, 1891 : — 

" I have seen my wife's letter in regard to the recognition of Sir X. Y.'s 

picture at . Notliing was said by me to her on the subject ; but knowing 

the portrait to be a remarkably good likeness I proposed calling at the 
house [which was that of a nejjhew of Sir X. Y. 's], being anxious to see wliat 
effect it wovdd have on my ivife. Immediately on entering the room she 
almost staggered back, and turned jjale, saying — looking hard at the picture— • 
' Why, tliere's the General 1 ' . . . Being a connection of the family, I 
knew all about tlie people, but my wife was then a stranger, and I had never- 
mentioned such things to her ; in fact, they had been almost forgotten." 

This case may remind us of Mr. Guriiey's description of a some- 
what similar vision (Vol. V., p. 418), as suggesting "the survival of a 
mere image, impressed, we cannot how, on we cannot guess 
what, by [the agent's] physical organism ; and perceptible at times to- 
those endowed with some cognate f(_>rni of sensitiveness." We are, 
indeed, always uncertain as to the degree of the decedent's active par- 
ticipation in post-mortem phantasms, — as to the relation of such mani- 
festations to the central current of his continuing individuality. But 
it is in dealing witli these persistent pictures of a bygone earth-scene 
that this perplexity reaches its climax. They may, as I have said else- 
where, be the mere di-eams of the dead : — affording no true indication 
of the point which the decedent's knowledge or emotion has really 

On the whole, then, and speaking from an avowedly inadequate in- 
duction, I see no clear evidence that the phantasm of a person who has 
Ijeen dead foi' more than a few days has shown definite ignorance of 
events whicli have occuri-ed on earth since his departui-e. We have 
now to consider, on the other hand, to what extent i^hantasms have 
shown definite knowledge of such posthumous events. 

This question is in the first j^lace complicated by the difficulty of 
determining of what events the decedent was in fact aware — by normal 
or supernormal means — 1>efore his decease. I add here the word super- 
normal, because there is some evidence of a tendency to clairvoyance 
on the part of dying persons. This is shown in some of our rare 
" recijarocal " cases, where the dying man not only produces a tele- 
pathic impression upon some pei-son at a distance, ljut is also apparently 


Mr. F. W. II. Myers. 

uwat-e of having in some way visited tliat person. Now it is oV)vious 
that in order to produce an evidential instance of this sort of reciprocity 
some very unusual circumstances must occur in conjunction. The 
■dying agent must mention the fact of his clairvoyant perception ; and 
the distant friend wliom the decedent supposes himself to be iji some 
way visiting must be so constituted and situated as to be able to realise 
and remember the so-called visit thus made to him. Each of these 
•conditions is rare ; and their accidental conjunction will therefore be 
rarer still. 

It is 230ssible that we might learn much wei'e we to question dying 
persoiis, Oil their awakening from some comatose condition, as to their 
memory of any dream or vision during that state. If there has in fact 
been any such experience it sliould be at once recoixled, as it will 
proVmbly fade rapidly from the patient's supraliminal memory, even if 
he does not die directly afterwaixls. A curious case was published in 
Phantasms of the Living (Vol. II., p. 305), where a dying man returns, 
as it were, from the gates of death expressly to announce that he has 
had a vision, or "paid a visit," of this kind — which "visit," however-, 
it was not possible to verify. A somewhat similar instance, but with 
ultimate recovery of the p.atient, Dr. Wiltse, was printed in the St. 
Louis Medical and Surgical Joihrital^ ISTovembei', 1889, and in the 
Mid-Continental lieview, Fel)rua.ry, 1890. Dr. Wiltse has since ob- 
tained for us the sworn depusitions of the witnesses of importance. 
The experience is long, and for the most part of a tlioroughly dreamlike 
type ; but in any view it is extremely unusual, nor can it l)e fairly 
understood from extracts alone. I (juote, therefore, the essential part 
of the case in full. 

G. 20;;. 

After describing his sinking under aii unusual disease —typlioid 
fever with subnormal temperature and pulse — Dr. Wiltse (of Skiddy, Kansas) 
continues as follows :— " I asked if I was perfectly in possession of niy mind, 
«o that what I niight say should be worthy of being relied upon. Being an- 
swered in the decided affirmative, I bade adieu to family and friends, giving 
such advice and consolation to eacli and all as I deemed best, conversed upon 
the proofs pro and con,, of ininiorbality, and called upon each and all to take 
testimony for tliemselves by watcliing tlie action of my mind, in tlie Ixidily 
state in which tliey saw me, and hnally, as my pupils fell open, and vision 
began to fail, and my V(jic3 to weaken, feeling a sense of drowsiness come 
over me, with a strong effort, I straiglitened my stifl'ened legs, got my arms 
over the breast, and clasped the fast stiffening fingers, and soon sank into 
utter unconsciousness. 

"I passed about four hours in all without pulse or perceptible heart-beat, 
as I am informed by Dr. S. H. Raynes, who was the only physician present. 
Dui'ing a portion of this time several of the bystanders thouglit I was dead, 
and sucli a report being cari-ied outside, tlie village cliurcli bell was tolled. 

On IndlcaiioviS of Gonfhraed Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 181 

Dr. Rayues informs me, however, that by bringing liis eyes cloae to my face, 
lie coukl pyrceive an occasional short gasp, so very light as to be barely fier- 
osptible, and that he was upon the point, several times, of saying, ' He is 
dead,' when a gasp would occur in time to check liim. [See Dr. Raynes, p. 103.] 
He thrust a needle deep into the flesli at different points from the feet 
to the hijjs, but got no response. Altliough I vi^as pulseless about four hours, 
this state of apparent death lasted only about half an hour. 

" I lost, I believe, all power of thought or knowledge of existence in abso- 
lute unconsciousness. Of course, I need not guess at the time so lost, as in 
such a state a minute or a thousand years would appear the same. I came 
again into a state of conscious existence and discovered that I was still in the 
body, but the l)ody and I had no longer any interests in connnon. I hjoked 
in astonishment and joy for the first time upon myself — the me, tlie real 
Ego, wliile the not me closed it upon all sides like a sepulchre of clay. 

"With all the interest of a physician, 1 beheld the wonders of my bodily 
anatomy, intimately interwoven with wliicli, even tissue for tissue, was I, 
tlie living soul of that dead body. I learned that tlie eijidermis was the out- 
side boundarj' of the ultimate tissues, so to sjieak, of tlie soul. I realised my 
condition and reasoned calmly tlius. I have died, as men term death, and 
yet I am as mucli a man as ever. I am about to get out of the body. I 
watched the interesting process of the sepai-ation of soul and body. By some 
power, apparently not my own, the Ego was rocked to and fro, laterally, as 
a cradle is rocked; Ijy wliich process its connection with tlie tissues of the 
body was broken u]j. After a little time the lateral motion ceased, and 
along the soles of the feet beginning at the toes, passing rapidly to the lioels 
I felt and heard, as it seemed, the snapping of iimumeraljle small cords. 
When this was accomplished I liegan slowly to retreat from the feet, toward 
the head, as a rubber cord shortens. I remember reaching the Iiips and say- 
ing to myself, ' Now, there is no life below the hips.' I can recall no 
memory of passing through the abdomen and chest, but recollect distinctly 
when my whole self was collected into the head, when I reflected thus : lam 
all in the head now, and I shall soon be free. I passed.around tlie brain as 
if I were hollow, compressing it and its membranes, slightly, on all sides, 
toward the centre and peeped out between the sutures of the skull, emerg- 
ing like the flattened edges of a bag of membranes. I recollect distinctly how 
I appeared to myself something like a jelly fish as regards colour and form. 
As I emerged, I saw two ladies sitting at my head. I measured the distances 
between the head of my cot and the knees of the lady opposite the head and 
concluded there was room for me to stand, but felt considerable embarrass- 
ment as I reflected that I was about t j emerge naked before her, but com- 
forted myself with the thought that in all probability slie could not see me 
with her liodily eyes, as I was a spirit. As I emerged from the head I 
floated up and down and laterally like a si )ap-bul)ble attached to the bowl of a 
pipe until I at last hvoke loose fi'om the body and fell lightly to tlie floor, 
where I slowly rose and expanded into tlie full stature of a man. I seemed 
to be translucent, of a bluish cast and perfectly naked. With a painful sense- 
of embarrassment I fled toward the partially opened door to escape the eyes 
of the two ladies whom I was facing as well as others wliom I knew were 
about me, but upon reaching the door I found myself clotlied, and satisfied. 


Mr. F. ^Y. H. Myers, 

upon tluit pumt I turned and faced the company. Am I turned, niy left 
■elbow came in contact with the arm of one of two gentlemen, who were 
standing in the door. To my surprise, his arm passed thn.iugh mine without 
apparent resistance, the severed parts closing again without pain, as air re- 
luiites. I looked quickly up at his face to see if he had noticed the contact, 
l)ut he gave me no sign, — only stood and gazed toward the couch I had just left. 
I directed my gaze in the direction of his, and saw my own dead body. It 
was lying just as I had taken m mucli pains to place it, partially upon tlie 
right side, the feet close together and the hands clasped across the breast. I 
was surprised at the paleness of the face. I had not looked in a glass for 
•some days and had imagined that I was not as pale as most very sick people 
are. I congratulated myself upon the decency with which I had composed 
the body and thouglit my friends would have little trouble on that score. 

"I saw a number of persons sitting and standing about the body, and parti- 
cularly noticed two women apparently kneeling by my left side, and I knew 
that they were weeping. I have since learned that they were my wife and 
niy sister, but I had no conception of individuality. Wife, sister, or friend 
were as one to me. I did not rememljer any conditions of relationship ; at 
least I did not think of any. I cmild distinguish sex, but nothing further. 

"I now attempted to gain the attention of the people with the object of 
comforting tliem as well as assuring them of tlieir own immortality. I bowed 
to them playfully and saluted with my right hand. I passed about among 
tliem also, but found that they gave me no heed. Then tlie situation struck 
nie as humorous and I laughed outright. 

"They certainly must have heard that, I thouglit, liut it seemed otherwise, 
for not one lifted their eyes from my body. It did not once occur to me to 
speak and I concluded the matter by saying to myself : ' They see only with 
the eyes of the body. They cannot see si^irits. They are watching what 
they think is I, but they are mistaken. That is not I. This is I and I am 
as Huich alive as ever.' 

"I turned and passed out at the open door, inclining my head and watch- 
ing where I set my feet as I stejiped down on to the porch. 

"I crossed the porch, descended the steps, walked down the path and into 
tlie street. There I stopped and looked about me. I never saw that street 
more distinctly than I saw it then. I took n(.)te of the redness of the soil and 
of the washes the rain had made. I took a rather pathetic look about me, 
like one who is about to leave his liome for a long time. Then I discovered 
that I had become larger than I was in earth life and congratulated myself 
thereupon. I was somewhat smaller in the body than I just liked to be, but 
in the next life, I thought, T am in be as I desired. 

" My clothes, I noticed, liad accommodated themselves to my increased 
stature, and I fell to wondering where they came from and how they gi )t on to 
me so quickly and without my knowledge. I examined the fabric and judged 
it to be of some kind of Scotch material, a good suit, I thought, but not hand- 
some ; still, neat and good enough. The coat fits loosely too, and that is 
well f<n' summer. ' How well I feel,' I thought. 'Only a few minutes ago I 
was horribly sick and distressed. Then caiae that change, called death, which 
I have so mucli dreaded. It is jjast now, and here am I still a man, alive 
and thinking, yes, thinking as clearly as ever, and how well I feel, I sliall 

On Indications of Oontinned Terrene Knowledge, cCt. 183 

never be sick again. I have no more to die.' And in sheer exuberance of 
spirits I danced a figure, and fell again to looking at niy form and clotlies. 

' ' Suddenly I discovered that I was looking at the straight seam down the 
back of my coat. How is this, I thought, how do I see my back I and I 
looked again, to reassure myself, down the back of the coat, or down the 
Ijack of my legs to the very heels. I put my hand to my face and felt for my 
«yes. They are where they should be, I thought. Am I like an owl that I 
■can turn my head half way round ? I tried the experiment and failed. 

' ' No ! Then it must be that having been out of the body, but a few 
moments, I have yet the power to use the eyes of my body, and I turned 
about and looked back in at the open door, where I could see the Iiead (jf my 
body in a line with me. I discovered then a small cord, like a spider's web, 
running from my slioulders back to my body and attaching to it at tlie base 
of the neck in front. 

" I was satisfied with the conclusion that by means of that cord, I was 
using the eyes of my body, and turning, walked down the street. 

■'I had walked but a few steps when I again lost my consciousness, and 
when I again awoke found myself in the air, where I was upheld by a jjair of 
hands, which I could feel pressing lightly against my sides. The owner of 
the hands, if they had one, was behind me, and was shoving me through the 
air at a swift but a pleasant rate of speed. By the time I fairly realised 
the situation I was pitched away and floated easily down a few feet, aligliting 
gently upon the beginning of a narrow, but well built roadway, inclined 
upward at an angle of something less than 45deg. 

" I looked up and could see sky and clouds above me at the usual heiglit. 
I looked down and saw the tops of green trees and thought : It is as far 
down to the tree tops as it is high to the clouds. 

"As I walked up the road, I seemed to face nearly north. I looked over 
tlie right side of the road and under it could see the forest, but discovered 
naught to support the roadway, yet I felt no fear of its falling. I examined 
the material of which it was built. It was built of milky quartz and fine 
sand. I picked up one i;if tlie gravels and looked at it particulai'ly. I dis- 
tinctly renieuiber that it had a dark speck in the centi'e. I brought it close 
to the eye and so discovered that it was a small hole apparently caused by 
chemical action of some metal. There had been a recent rain, and the cool- 
ness was refreshing to me. I noticed that, although the grade was steep, I 
felt no fatigue in walking, but my feet seemed light, and my step buoyant 
as the step of childliood, and as I walked I again reverted to my late con- 
dition of illness and rejoiced in my perfect health and strength. Tlieii a 
sense of great loneliness came over me and I greatly desired company, so I 
reasoned thus : Someone dies every minute. If I wait twenty minutes the 
chances ai'e great that someone in tlie mountains will die, and thus I sliall 
have company. I waited, and while so doing surveyed the scenery about me. 
To the east was a long line of mountains, and the forest underneath me 
extended to the mountains, up their sides and out on to the mountain top. 
Underneath me lay a forest-clad valley, througli which ran a beautiful river 
full of shoals, which caused the water to ripjDle in white sjjrays. I th(.)ught 
the river looked much like the Emerald River, and the mountains, I thought, 
as strongly resembled Waldron's Ridge. On the left of the road was a Jiigli 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

bluff of 'black wtone, and it reminded me of Lookout Mountain, where the 
railroad passes between it and the Tennerssee River. Thus memory, judg- 
ment, and imagination, the three great faculties of the mind, were intact and 

"I waited for company, what I judged to be twenty minutes ; but no one 
came. Then I reasoned thus : It is probable that when a man dies he has his 
individual road to travel and must travel it alone. As no two men are ex- 
actly alike, so, most likely, no two travel the same road into the other world. 
I reliected that as eternal existence was now assured, I had no need to hurry, 
and so walked very leisurely along, now stopjjing and looking at the scenery,, 
or looking back over the road if, perchance, someone might come along, and 
occasionally turning and walking backward, and thus watching the road 
behind me for company I so strongly desired. I thought certainly some one 
from the other v/orld would be out to meet me, though strangely enough, I 
thought of no person whom above others I desired to see. Angels or fiends, 
one, I said, will come out to meet me — I wonder which it will be ? I 
reflected that I had not believed all the Church tenets, but had written and 
taught verbally a new and, I believed, a better faitli. But, I reasoned, I 
knew nothing, and where there is room for doubt there is room for mistake. 
I may, therefore, be on my way to a terrible doom. And here occurred a 
thing hard to describe. At different points about me I was aware of the 
expressed thought, ' Feai' not, you are safe 1 ' I heard no voice, I saw no- 
I^erson, yet I was perfectly aware that at different points, at varying distances 
from me, someone was thinking that thought for my benefit, but how I was 
made aware of it was so great a mysteiy tliat it staggered my faith in iti 
reality. A great fear and doubt came over me and I was beginning to be 
vei'y miserable, wlien a face so full of ineffable love and tenderness apj^eared 
to me f<.>r an instant as set me to rights upon that score. 

" Suddenly I saw at some distance ahead of me three prodigious rock.s- 
blocking the road, at which sight I stopped, wondering why so fair a road 
should l)e thus blockaded, and while I considered v/hat I was to do, a great- 
and dark cloud, which I compared to a cubic acre in size, stood over my head. 
Quickly it became filled witli living, moving liolts of fire, which darted hitliei- 
and thitlier through the cloud. They were not extinguished by contact with 
the cloud, for I could see tliem in the cloud as one sees fish in deep water. 

"The cloud became concave on the under surface like a great tent and 
began slowly to revolve upon its perpendicular axis. When it had turned 
three times, I was aware of a presence, which I could not see, but wliich I 
knew was entering into the cloud from the southern side. The presence did 
not seem, to my mind, as a form, because it filled tlie cloud like some vast, 
intelligence. He is not as I, I reas()ned : I fill a little space witli my form, 
and when I niDve the space is left void, but he may fill innnensity at his will,, 
even as he fills this cloud. Then from tlie right side and froni the left of the 
cloud a tongue of black vapi.>ur shot forth and rested lightly upon eitlier side 
of my head, and as they touched me thoughts not my own entered into my 

"These, I said, are his thoughts and not mine ; they might be in Greek or 
Hebrew for all power I have over them. But how kindly am I addressed in 
my mother tongue that so I may understand all his will. 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 185 

"Yet, although the language was English, it was so eminently above my 
power to reproduce that my rendition of it is as far short of the original as 
any translation of a dead language is weaker than the original ; for instance, 
the expression, ' This is the road to the eternal world, ' did not contain over 
four words, neither did any sentence in the wliole harangue, and every 
sentence, had it been written, must have closed with a period, so complete 
was the sense. The following is as near as I can render it : — 

" ' This is the road to the eternal world. Yonder rocks are the boundary 
between the two worlds and the two lives. Once you pass them, you can no 
more return into the body. If your work was to write the things that have 
been taught you, waiting for mere chance to publish them, if your work was 
to talk to private individuals in the privacy of friendship — if this was all, it 
is done, and you may pass beyond the rocks. If, however, upon considera- 
tion you conclude that it shall be to j^ublish as well as to write what you are 
taught, if it shall be to call together the multitudes and teach them, it is not 
done and you can return into the body.' 

' ' The thoughts ceased and the cloud passed away, moving slowly toward the 
mountain in the east. I turned and watched it for some time when, suddenly, 
and without having felt myself moved, I stood close to and in front of the 
three rocks. I was seized with a strong curiosity then to look into the next 

' ' There were four entrances, one very dark, at the left between the 
wall of black rock and the left hand one of the three rocks, a low archway, 
between the left hand and tlie middle rock, and a similar one between that 
find the right hand rock, and a very narrow pathway running around the 
right hand rock at the edge of the roadway. 

"I did not examine the opening at the left — I know not why, unless it was 
because it appeared dark, but I knelt at each of the low archways and looked 
through. The atmosphere was green and everything seemed cool and quiet 
and beautiful. Beyond the rocks, the roadway, the valley, and the mountain 
range curved gently to the left, tlius shutting off the view at a short distance. 
If I were only around there, I tliought, I should soon see angels or devils or 
both, and as I thought this, I saw the forms of both as I had often pictured 
tliem in my mind. I looked at them closely and discovered that they were 
not realities, but the mere shadowy forms in my thoughts, and that any form 
might be brouglit up in the same way. What a wonderful world, I exclaimed, 
mentally, where thought is so intensified as to take visible form. How 
liappy shall I be in such a realm of thought as that. 

' ' I listened at the archways for any sound of voice or of music, but could 
bear nothing. Solid substances, I thought, are better media of sound than 
air, I will use tlie rocks as media, and I rose and placed my left ear to first 
one rock and then the other througliout, but could hear notliing. 

"Then suddenly I was tempted to cross the boundary line. I hesitated 
and reasoned thus : ' I have died once and if I go back, soon or late, I must 
die again. If I stay someone else will do my work, and so the end will be 
as well and as surely accomplished and shall I die again ? I will not, but now 
that I am so near I will cross the line and stay.' So determining I moved 
cautiously along the rocks. There was danger of falling over the side of the 


186 " Mr. F.W. IT. Myers. 

road, for the pathway around was hut narrow. I thought not of the archways, 
I placed my back against the rock and walked sideways. 

"I reached the exact centre of the rock, which I knew by a carved knob in 
the rock marking the exact boundary. Here, like Csesar at the Rubicon, I 
halted and parleyed with conscience. It seemed like taking a good deal of 
responsibility, but I determined to do it, and advanced the left foot across the 
line. As I did so, a small, densely black cloud appeared in front of me and 
advanced toward my face. I knew that I was to be stopped. I felt the 
power to move or to think leaving me. My hands fell powerless at my side, 
my shoulders and head dropped forward, the cloud touched my face and I 
knew no more. 

' ' Without jorevious tliought and without apparent effort on my part, ray 
eyes opened. I looked at my hands and then at tlie little white cot upon 
"which I was lying, and realising that I was in the body, in astonishment and 
disappointment, I exclaimed : What in the world has happened to me ? Must 
I die again ? 

"I was extremely weak, l)ut strong enough to relate the above exjierience 
despite all injunctions to quiet. Soon afterward I was seized with vomiting, 
severe and uncontrollable. About tliis time Doctor J. H. Sewel, of Rock- 
wood, Tenn., called upon a friendly visit, not knowing I was sick. I was 
hiccoughing terribly and in consultation he said, ' Nothing sh.ort of a 
aniracle, I fear, can save him.' 

"After many days, it seemed to me, the temijerature began to creep up and 
soon ran above normal, but only a little, wavei'ed back and fortli for a fevr 
days and settled at a half degree below where it remained during the greater 
part of convalescence, when it mounted to normal, the pulse mounted to 
above fifty for keeps, as boys say at marbles, then went to seventy-six and I 
made a rapid and good recovery, for having travelled some hundreds of miles 
during the interval, as T close tliis paper my pulse stands at eighty-four and 
is strong, just eight weeks from 'the day I died,' as some of my neighbours 
.sp)eak of it. 

' ' There are plenty f )f witnesses to the truth of the above statements, in so 
far as my pliysical condition was concerned. Also to the fact that just as I 
described tlie conditions about my body and in the room, so tliey actually 
•were. I must, therefore, have seen these things by some means," 

In a letter to Dr. Hodgson, Dr. Wiltse adds : — 

"In reply will say that I have delayed answer to this date in order to 
interview several persons who have followed me from Tennessee to this 
State, and who were eye-witnesses to my physical condition at the time of 
my strange experience. 

"I have questioned six of these jjersons uj^on the jioints at issue and find, 
according to their testimony, the facts to be as stated in answers to your 

"Tlie pai'ties named below were present during the phenomena mentioned 
in your letter. If desirable, you can interview them. I give their present 
address : Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter, Miss Sara E. Wiltse, 318, Washington- 
street, Dorchester, Mass. 

"With modem Spiritism I can hardly affiliate, although I do not fail to 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, tOc. 187 

make all the investigations I can, but I generally find an explanation short of 
tlie claims set ujJ." 


Statement. — You perceived two gentlemen standing in the door. 

1. Q. : Were they actually standing in the door ? A. : They were. 

2. Q. : Was your face as pale as you perceived it to be '? A. : It was 
much paler as compared with some days before, but one witness states that, 
as compared with only a short time before becoming unconscious, the face 
appeared of a dark purple hue. 

3. Q. : Did you not recognise any person at all among those whom you 
perceived in the room ? A. : I had no thought of names nor ideas of relation- 
ship. I had a strong sense of good fellowship, if I may so term it, but my 
interest in each seemed alike. I must have forgotten all personalities. 

4. Q. : Did the washes which you perceived the rain to have made actually 
exist ? A. : They did to a marked degree, there having been heavy rains for 
many days consecutively. 

5. Q. : Did the fabric in which you seemed to be clothed resemble ap_y 
which you had ever worn ? A. : It did not, and I distinctly recollect 
thinking that I had no such clothing in the house, although it did not tlien 
occur to me that I had never possessed such a suit. I think, however, that 
my brother who vv^as visiting me had on something such a suit, but cannot be 
certain, as I cannot learn that I made any reference to any suit in the room 
as being like it vrliile rehearsing my experience after awaking. If I could see 
a suit like it I should recognise it at once. 

G. Q. : Were you previously familiar with the notion that a delicate thread, 
in cases of trance, connects the ethereal organism with the ordinary body 1 
A. : Yes, and this will seem to you a case of expectancy. I deem it fair to 
your Society to state, however, that so far from believing the theory was I 
that in a volume of fiction upon which I am engaged I had set down an 
entirely different theory as emanating from one of the characters who is made 
to teach my own private views strongly enough. When I discovered the 
thread my mind did not go back to any previous recollections or ideas upon 
the subject, as I should suppose would naturally be the case. 

Dr. Wiltse adds, June 30th, 1890 : — 

' ' In accordance with your request in letter of June 18th for evidential 
statements I have obtained three sworn statements, which I send herewith." 
• .>•■■■• 

Statement of Mrs. Haidee I. Wiltse. 

Skiddy, Kas., June 27i7i, 1890. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 

Sir, — I was present at the bedside of my husband during that time in 
his sickness last summer that his physician and friends supposed him to be 
dying, some even believing he was dead. 

His condition of unconsciousness lasted, I suppose, about half an hour, 
during which I could see no sign of life in him. Still, I did not really believe 
him to be dead, nor did I give up all hope of his recovery, for reasons stated 

0 2 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

further on in this letter. Tliis notwithstanding the fact that the physician 
in attendance told me that he was certainly dying. 

After remaining -like one dead to apjjearance (from where I was) for some 
time, he suddenly opened liis eyes and said, " Must I die again ?" 

I told him he had not died yet. But he said he had died, and began to 
tell wliat lie had seen, when his physician made him stop talking. He per- 
sisted for a little, but finally yielded, said he would tell us all after a while 
why he had come back, saying he had seen something wonderful, and should 
never doubt of immortality again. 

As to the other matters, I do not recollect. 

The reason I did not believe he was going to die was this : I have several 
times in my life dreamed of seeing a white horse and a black horse harnessed 
in a carriage and running througli the air over an open field and disap- 
pearing in a forest on the opposite side. Some friend of mine sits in the 
carriage and is recognised by me, who invariably dies a few days afterwards. 
A few days before the doctor was taken sick I saw him in that carriage. 
But the dream varied in this, that I ran and caught the white liorse by tlie bits, 
just before they got into tlie wood, and so stopped them. So strangely had 
I come to believe in this dream, that I kept believing in it clear through. I 
told the dream to the doctor the next morning after I dreamed it, and he 
laughed at me. — Very respectfully, 

Mrs. HAiDiE Wiltse. 

Morris County, State of Kansas, S.S. 

Mrs. Haidee Wiltse, being duly sworn, deposes and says that she is well 
acquainted with all the facts stated in the above, and that she signed the 
above with her free will and accord. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Pulilic in and for Morris 
County, State of Kansas, this 30th day of June, a.d. 1890. 

H. S. Miller, Notary Public, 

Com. Ex., 3Iarch 21.rf, 1892. 

Statement of A. J. Howard. 

Skiddy, Kas., Jnne 29th, 1890. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 

Sir, — I was chosen by Dr. Wiltse, during his sickness last summer, as 
the one who could turn and lift him easiest, whicli arrangement kejrt me by 
liis bedside a large share of tlie time. 

One day (I forget the date) he seemed much worse, so that the family 
and neighbours thought he was dying. 

I took Dr. S. H. Raynes, the only attending pliysician present, out into 
the porch, and asked him to tell me confidentially wliat he thought of the 
case. He said, " A gone case ; he is as good as dead now." He was fixing 
a hypodermic syringe, and I asked about it, and he said he was making 
ready to give the doctor an injection of morphine, in case he should have 
spasms while dying. This was not done, however. 

Doctor Wiltse called to him just then, and said, "Doctor, as soon as I 
am dead try that experiment, and be sure you don't -put it off so late that 
jou have no chance of a positive result. It is worth looking into." He 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 189 

spoke of this several times, and exacted a promise from some of us that it 
should be tried. It was, I have since learned, to inject ether to see if he 
would speak, and what he would say. 

He told us to leave room in front of tlie window, that he might have 
light, and that if he should see anything tliat would prove imm<jitality he 
would tell us, if he liad strength even to whisper, and would tell us the 
truth. He afterwards spoke of a light, but after being silent for some time 
said he understood the philosophy of the light, that it was a natural occur- 
rence, and explained it to us. He had sjiells of quiet, like he was going- 
down, but would rouse out of tlieni and talk. He called to one of the 
neighbours, wlio was sitting at his riglit foot rubbing it, and said, ' ' Look 
now, Mr. Fordliam, we have talked a good deal about immortality. I see 
you rubljing my foot, but I have only sight to tell me. I cannot feel you ; 
my body is about dead. But did you ever see my mind clearer ? It is not 
dying yet." Mr. Fordham said, "I never saw anything like it." Dr. 
Wiltse said, " This is my last argument. Do you begin to be convinced?" 
Soon after this he closed his eyes, and seemed to become entirely uncon- 
scious. I did not think him entirely dead, although many did. After about 
half an hour he suddenly opened his eyes and looked about as if greatly 
surprised, and said, "Do I have to die again V He then told us not to be 
scared any more, for he should get well ; that his work was not finished, and 
he was to live imtil it was. He said he had been to the otlier world, and 
began to tell of things he had seen, and said we were immortal. Dr. Raynes 
made him stop talking several times ; but he would soon begin again, and so 
in a short time he had told by piecemeal tliat same story wliich lias since 
been printed, and which he has read to me before it was printed and since, 
to see if it was stated as I rememljered it. I came to Kansas along with 
him, and so saw the story before it was printed, and it is just as he first 
told, so far as the incidents are concerned, and he must have thought it 
up mighty quick if it is not true. 

I distinctly remember tliat while he was sleejjing, Mrs. Wiltse and the 
doctor's sister — Miss Sara E. Wiltse— were sitting at his left side. Tliere 
were also some women at his head. There were also some men in the door 
— I think Mr. H. M. Wiltse, tlie doctor's brother, and Dr. Raynes. 

The washes in the street during the doctor's sickness were considerably 
deepened and widened, as the street in front of his house has a heavy 
grade. I am sure it showed a good deal of diff'erence from the last time he 
saw it before that to the day he so nearly died, as it rained a great deal in 
the time. 

A. J. Howard. 

State of Kansas, Morris County, S.S. 

A. J. Howard, being duly sworn, deposes and says that all the facts 
stated in the within and attached instrument are true, according to his 
judgment and lielief. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public in and for Morris 
County, State of Kansas. 

H. S. Miller, Notary Public, 

Com. Ex., March 21st, 1892. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

William T. Howard. 

Skiddy, Morri.s Co., Kas., June 28th, 1890. 
Mr. Richard Hodgson, Boston. 

Sir, — I was with Dr. A. S. Wiltse and helped to nurse him for many- 
days wliile sick in Tennessee about a year ago. I was present <.)n that 
day when his friends and his physician supposed he was dying. He 
was several hours without pulse that I could discover, and the jjhysician, 
Dr. S. H. Raynes, rejDorted the same also. I asked Dr. Raynes privately 
about his chances for life, and was told that it was utterly impossible for him 
to recover, as he was already dying. I was greatly agitated at this intelligence 
until Dr. Wiltse asked his friends to be very quiet and attentive that so they 
miglit watch very closely for any sign he might be able to give which 
might be proof to them of immortality as a f;ict instead of a mere hope or 
belief. He asked if tlie physician was well satisfied that his mind was clear, 
so that what he might say should be entirely worthy of belief. Dr. Raynes 
told him it was as clear as any well man's. Dr. Wiltse said he felt that it 
was, and I must say that I never saw anyone exhibit greater clearness of 

Dr. Wiltse then said that we should stand close by him, as his voice was 
weak, so that we could hear even a whisper, and that if lio saw anything that 
was a proof he would tell us, and that what he might tell us we could rely 

Tlie pupils of his eyes fell open and so his sight began to fail so that he 
complained of it, when he said he saw a light at the end of the room in 
the window, but soon after said he had discovered what it was, and ex- 
plained it upon some scientific plan whicli I do not recollect, but which 
seemed reasonable. 

I became so interested in his talk that I no longer felt excited, and went 
and stood by his head that I might hear any words he might S23eak. I think 
all in the room must have felt the same, for I noticed that most of them 
stopped crying, and crowded about him as if they wished and exjiected to 
hear something curious and interesting. 

His eyes finally closed, and he lay for some time like one dead. I don't 
know how long, when he suddenly opened his eyes and, as if greatly surprised, 
said vehemently, ' ' What in the world has happened ? Is it possible that I 
have to die again ? " 

He then began to tell us of things he had seen, but the attending 
physician interfered and said he must not talk. Dr. Wiltse then said he 
would tell us all about it before long, and soon after told the same story 
substantially as he has since puljlished. 

As to matters seen by him about the room, &c., I distinctly recollect that 
the door was standing partly open and that two men stood in it a portion of 
the time, although I do not feel certain who they were. It rained a good deal 
while he was sick, but did not rain on this particular day, but was a bright 
day. I have no doubt that the washes in the street had changed a good deal 
from what they had been when he last saw them with his natural eyes. I 
recollect also that there were some women sitting at his head, althougli I am 
not certain how many. I heard him relate his strange experience tlie first 
time soon after he awoke, and have heard liim relate it j^robably to a score or 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, (l-c, 191 

more of people since and twice to audiences, and have purposely watched for 
any contradictory statements which might throw doubt upon its entire truth- 
fulness. Have also read his published statement, but in all he has never 
crossed his statements. His experience has evidently made a strong inipres- 
.sion upon him, for I have never heard him express any doubts as to immor- 
tality since, although before that he had often expressed fear and doubt upon 
the subject. — Yours truly, 

W. T. Howard. 

State of Kansas, Morris County, S.S. 

William T. Howard, being duly sworn, says the above is true in all the 
matters there .stated. 

W. T. Howard. 

Subscribed and sworn to before nie, a Notary Public in and for Morris 
County, State of Kansas. 

H. S. Miller, Notai-y Public, 

Com. Ex., March 21st, 1892. 

Miss Sara E. Wiltse, Corunna, Mich. 

Corunna, Michigan, Jidij 10th, 1890. 

Mr. Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — I cannot make this statement as brief as I would like because 
tlie value of it depends upon some of the details. 

Dr. A. S. Wiltse is my brother, and had I supposed his illness otlier than 
a fatal one, I should certainly have made notes upon his condition from day 
to day. I think his record in the St. Louis Medical and Siuvjical Journal 
remarkably clear and exact, even as to our positions beside what we supposed 
to be his dying bed. Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter read that report with me on 
its first appearance, and found it in harmony with what we knew or could 
recall of the circumstances, except that I tliought my brother was mistaken 
iibout my position beside his cot, but both Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter assure me 
that my memory and not that of my brother is at fault in that particular. 
Mrs. Carpenter is in ill-health and I would not like her to review this painful 
.subject at present, otherwise she would respond to your request for a 

When my brother, Hon. H. M. Wiltse, and Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter 
came in resjjonse to my telegram, we agreed there should be no moment of 
what we supposed would be the brief remainder of Dr. Wiltse's life, v/hen he 
could not see or touch either his brother, his sister, or his niece, the only 
ones present v\dio were part of the old home cii'cle. We also resolved that, at 
whatever cost to us, he should be troubled by no tears or sorrowful tones. 

Dr. Wiltse has, and has always had, very strong tendencies to beliefs in the 
supernatural, and has been a ghost hunter, visiting "haunted" houses and 
inquiring into all pojaular sujjerstitions that he could find about him. His 
brother, Henry M. Wiltse, is a lawyer, with little patience with such 
speculations. I am a teacher, believing strongly in the immortality of tlie 
.soul, but not in ghostly visitors, though all phenomena of this nature were 
a favourite tojDic between Dr. Wiltse and myself. I claimed that a person 
who saw spirits was in an abnormal condition, and needed medical treat- 
ment, assuring him whenever I should see one I would send for liim if he 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

■would bi'ing his lancet and jjowders. Mr. Carpenter, also a teacher, Is 
something of a modern Tlieosophist, and Mrs. Carpenter is a music teacher 
of decidedly practical turn of mind, believing in the f)ossibility of seeing a 
disembodied spirit, but never dwelling upon the subject, being rather reticent 
about tlie most serious matters. Such were our mental attitudes when we 
gathered for what we supposed our last earthly meeting. The physicians in 
attendance I never met until that week, and I do not now know what their 
beliefs are. 

My brother longed for some Heavenly vision. I think he was profoundly 
disappointed because he saw no angels and heard no seraphs, for previous tO' 
his unconsciousness he expressed surprise that he should be so near the other 
life and get no impression of it through his bodily senses. I remember per- 
fectly his attention to his failing sight, his measurement of tlie decreasing 
length of vision, and liis rej^ort of the growing dimness while his voice was yet 
tolerably clear. He often appealed to us to know if we still believed in the 
life eternal even in that presence, and it seemed to increase his hopefulness 
that we believed without aid of unaccountable sights or sounds, and while 
longing for some remarkable revelation, he yet rejoiced in his mental vigour, 
and occasionally asked the doctor in attendance if he seemed to him to be 
wandering in the least, for he sliould he sorry not to be in full jjossession of 
his mental faculties when body and spirit separated. 

I remember perfectly the attempt he naade to straighten his stiffening 
limbs, for, although he could not sjjeak, he smiled his thanks for the service 
I rendered by helping him in th;it last physical effort. I thought he could 
feel my touch, and believed he saw my face, and so I would not give way to 
tears. It was 'not until ive were sure that all his hodihj senses had failed that I 
allowed- mijself to cry; therefore his singularly well remembered train of 
tliouglit al)out his soul, and his oljservance of his weeping wife and sister, must 
have occurred wliile he was apparently unconscious, and after the doctor had 
pronounced life extinct. 

That it was not an ordinary or even extraordinary delusion of a fevered 
brain seems proven by his continued clearness of mind ; there was none of the 
usual delirium of fever at any time during his illness, even during those days 
that are a blank in his memory. I think he was perfectly cognisant of the 
j)resent moment, its symjitoms and his attendants, during all of the time tliat 
he was conscious, but lie could not remember from hour to liour what 
medicines had been administered. He prescribed for himself with admirable 
skill, but liad to ask the other doctors if tliat remedy had already been tried, 
and was as professionally courteous to them as if lie had been in consultation 
over some other patient. I remember his telling them that he did not forget 
that he was the sick man, and would not ojjpose the opinion of the patient 
to that of the doctors, and showed none of the bravado which a delirious 
doctor might have felt. I sat up with him many nights in succession, a 
physician sleeping in his office, and when there was any alarming change in 
his condition he would tell me what to give instantly — if there seemed no 
time to lose in calling for aid, always insisting afterwards that I should speak 
to the doctor to make sure the remedy was approved by a jjhysician in 
healtli. Tliese alarming conditions came on very suddenly, and were 
extremely dangerous, but Dr. Wiltse's coolness and good judgment were 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, &c. 193 

invariably commended by the other doctors ; his failure of memory finally 
interfered with the safety of his own advice, but liis judgment even then was 
perfectly sound, and there was no muddling of symptoms or treatment. 

The fever was of a very uncommon type, and one of the attending 
physicians had a book with descriptions of a like case. Dr. Wiltse wanted it 
to read, but the other doctor pretended he forgot to bring it, telling me there 
were points that my brother should not read up under the circumstances, 
and my brother felt hurt that a doctor could forget at such a time. Happily 
he himself forgot the book before many hours. All these recollections are to 
show my brother's mental and physical condition as I observed it in that 

I have had typhoid fever myself, and have seen several cases of it, having 
been with a cousin several days previous to and during all of his dying hours, 

I have seen several people die of various diseases, and am sadly familiar 
with the symptoms of ajiproaching death. I had no hope whatever of my 
brother's recovery after the convulsions set in, although I joined in every 
effort made to prolong his life. 

His sinking and all the preceding symptoms were so like death that I 
always think of the occasion as "when he died," and have to think twice 
before I can speak with precision of the time when he seemed to die. 

It seems to me that the psychological value of this phenomenon lies in the 
probable activity of the mind during apparent unconsciousness, and not in 
any guesses that may be hazarded about relations of life and death which 
might be based upon it, although one must reverence the opinion of any who 
think as some of the good mountain people do, that Dr. Wiltse actually died 
and came to life again. — Very respectfully yours, 

Sara E. Wiltse. 

Finally, we have now obtained the account of the doctor in attendance, 
as follows : — 

Kismet, Morgan Co., Tennessee, March 3l6t, 1892. 
Mr. R. Hodgson, LL.D. 

Dear Sir, — I was the attending physician present when Dr. A. S. Wiltse 
lay apparently dead in August, 1889. I observed his symptoms closely, and 
if there are any symptoms marking a patient as in articulo mortis that were 
not presented in his case, I am igiiorant of them. I supposed at one time that 
he was actually dead as fully as I ever supposed anyone dead. I thrust a 
needle deep into the flesh at difierent points, and got no sign of sensibility. 
There was no pulse and no perceptible heart-sounds. The breath was, so 
far as observable, absolutely suspended. 

S. H. Raynes, M.D. 

Some readers, perhaps, may smile at this highly modernised 
parallel to the death scene of the Pluado. But surely Socrates would 
himself have been the first to approve Dr. Wiltse's resolute attempt to 
substitute knowledge for opinion in this weightiest of all crises. Nor 
need we find anything irreverent in this absorption in experiment in 
the face of advancing Death. Death's " truer name," the Laureate has 
said, "is Onward"; and for an agnostic, at least, no attitude in the 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

last earthly hour can be more manful than the desire that his own 
pai'ting experience should leave light and hope for other men. 

Here, at any rate, whatever view we take as to the source or the 
content of Dr. Wiltse's vision, the fact remains that the patient, 
while in a comatose state, almost j^ulseless, and at a temperature much 
below the noi'mal, did, nevertheless, undei'go a remai'kably vivid seiies 
■of mental impressions. It is plain, therefore, that we may err in 
other cases by assuming prematurely that all power of perception or 
inference has ceased. 

Setting aside the manifestly dream-like or symbolical element of the 
vision, we observe that Dr. Wiltse believes that his perception of the 
peo^jle in the room, and of the rain-washed streets outside, was of a 
clairvoyant type. But this cannot be proved ; for the picture of the 
streets might be due to unconscious inference ; and some acuteness of 
perception, like that of the lethargic hyj^notised subject, might account 
for his knowledge of movements in the room made after his eyes were 
closed. However this may be, it is probable that if he had actually 
died, and if some kind of message from him had been subsequently 
received, that message might have included facts as to the scene of 
death which the survivoi's would have believed to have been unknown 
to him while still living, but wliich he did in fact acquire during his 
comatose condition. 

G. 207. 

The following narrative, while lacking both the precision and the corrobo- 
ration of Dr. Wiltse's record, indicates a more marked clairvoyance, — exer- 
cised, singularly enough, under very similar conditions of deathly cold. 
The Rev. L. J. Bertrand (Huguenot minister) gave Dr. Hodgson an oral 
account of this experience, and has now sent it in wiiting to Professor W. 
James. The case is very remote ; hut although the details cannot be trusted 
at this distance of time, the main fact of the clairvoyance hi extremis, and 
of the practical joke played on the guide, can hardly have crept unawares 
into the story. M. Bertrand's memory of Switzerland, I may add, seems 
2n'etty clear. 

Neuilly, Seine, 14 Bis, Rue Borghfese, October 10th, 1891. 

Dear Dr. James, — Excuse me, but since your last kind letter, illness and 
death have come in my family ; then I have been obliged to visit Belgium, 
then to lielp my societies, &c., &c. I have had no time for answers. 

Many people remembering my accident on the Titlis answer me, but 
they exaggerate everything ; others have only a vague notion, and because I 
am alive, I am surprised to find how many have died during the last 30 
years ; how many have disappeared from their place. My friends' letters 
and mine will, however, sooner or later, unite the past and the present. If 
I had been able to visit Switzerland ! But death has come, and our plans 
are forwarded to next year. I have written and written to India — but no 
answer has yet arrived. 

'Meanwhile, I send you the relation of the fact, avoiding for this time 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, &c. 195 

everything wliicli ouglit to be told by others, and whicli liappened after the 
awakening or resurrection. I must write, cnrrente calamo, and in niy poor 
English ; my time is absorbed by too many things. I authorise you to use 
my notes as you please, provided you correct them, and that you do not alter 
in the slightest way wliat I affirm. — Most respectfully yours, 

L. J. Bertrand. 

Dear Dr. James, — For 27 consecutive years, during the two best 
months, I climbed with two, three, or four pupils the peaks of the Alps 
and Pyrenees ; of course we had, now and then, disagreeable adventures. 
Once, a young English officer, Hatton Turner, and I were lost in the snow 
near the Vignemale for 40 hours. I read in a paper the full description 
of our own death : it seems that we were murdered by Spanish brigands ! 
Later, my father and my wife became fully convinced that once or another I 
would fall into a crevice or a precipice, or he shot in the dark by a bandit. 
To calm tlieir perpetual alarm, I resolved to hide from them all my little 
accidents, and to write no journal. Now, I deeply regret my taking such a 
resolution — too late. 

Some 30 years ago, after crossing from the Rhone valley, I sent my 
young men to Meyringen, and I went to Interlaken to pi'ove to my v/ife that 
tliough she had heard of my falling into a deep crevice of a glacier, I was 
still fully alive. On my return I missed the coach, and instead of meeting 
■•■'=my young men at the foot of the Yoch Pass at 9 a.m., as agreed, I 
reached them at the inn Engstlenalp — foot of the Titlis, 45 minutes from the 
Col of the Yoch — only at 1 p.m. 

Whilst taking my meal on the grass, surrounded hj my companions, I 
said to a guide : ' ' Why do you not climb that beautiful Titlis straight up 
from this side instead of going round to meet the long, zigzagging Triibsee 
Alp way ? You make such a fuss for an easy climbing of 10,000 feet ! " 

" Because this side is genei'ally hard, sometimes dangerous, and this year 

One of my young men replied, laughingly : "I suppose that you never 
tried ; if tourists did not first guide the guide, no guide would guide the 

Then came another older guide, called, I think, Karl Infanger, who told 
me : ' ' Lately I went there hunting, and I assure you that this year, because 
of the snow and of an enormous bump of the glacier, it would be perfect 
madness to risk it. " 

' ' Well, we may try, and I will give you double pay, vv^hen even we 
should be obliged to come back unsuccessful." 

"When do you mean to leave ? " 

" As soon as you are ready, because I hope to see from the top the sun- 
set instead of the sunrise. Take only a rope ; we have pikes and hooks 

" We will then make two follies instead of one, for the snow is melting 
and slippery." 

He was right in calling my obstinacy " perfect madness," for wlien we at 
last reached the top of the steep and dangerous part we all felt surprised that 
we had not fallen from a precipice and smashed our bodies against a rock. 
And then my legs complained pitifully that they had walked from six in tlie 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers, 

morning till five in the afternoon, and had made strenuous, tremendous efforts 
for the last two hours. 

I therefore said to my companions : "I have been many times on the 
summit, and know that you no longer want my prudent (!) direction. As I am 
very tired, I will remain here, if you promise me to follow my orders. ' You, 
guide, do you promise me, when you climb the peak, to go up by the left and 
come down by the right ? " 

" Of course ; we always do so. I promise." 

Tlien I explained to my young men that the peak is like one half of a 
sugar-loaf, cvit from to^ to bottom, and that on the left there was a dangerous 
cut, which they might not see in coming down. I therefore placed the 
strongest of my pupils at the end of the rope, and said : " Do you promise me 
to remain there the last ? " 

" I promise." 

" Veiy well, go." 

I sat down, my legs hanging on a dangerous slope or precipice, my back 
leaning on a I'cck as Ijig as an armchair. I chose that lirink because there 
was no snow, and because I could face better the magnificent panoi'ama of the 
Alpes Bernoises. I at once remembered that in my pocket were two cigars, 
and put one between my teetli, lighted a match, and considered myself as <;he 
happiest of men. Suddenly I felt as thunderstruck by apoplexy, and tliouj^h 
the match burned my fingers, I could not throw it down. My head^was per- 
fectly clear and healthy, but my body was as powerless and motionless as a 
rock. Tliere was for me no hesitation. " This," I thought, '■^ is the sleep of 
the snoivs ! If I move I shall roll down in tlie abyss ; if I do not move I 
shall be a dead man in 25 or 30 minutes." A kind of prayer was sent 
to God, and then I resolved to study quietly the progress of death. My feet 
and hands were first frozen, and little by little death reached my knees and 
elbows. The sensation was not painful, and my mind felt quite easy. But 
when death had been all over my body my head became unbearably cold, and 
it seemed to me that concave pincers s [ueezed my heart, so as to extract my 
life. I never felt such an acute pain, but it lasted only a second or a minute, 
and my life went out. " Well," thought I, "at last I am what they call a 
dead man, and here I am, a ball of air in the air, a captive balloon still 
attached to earth by a kind of elastic string and going up and always up. How 
strange ! I see better tlian ever, and I am dead — only a small space in the 
space without a body I . . . Where is my last body ? " Looking down, I 
was astounded to recognise my own envelope. " Strange ! " said I to myself. 
"There is the corpse in which I lived and which I called me, as if the coat 
were the body, as if the body were the soul ! What a horrid thing is that 
body I — deadly pale, with a yellowish-blue colour, holding a cigar in its mouth 
and a match in its two burned fingers ! Well, I hope that you shall never 
smoke again, dirty rag ! Ah ! if only I had a hand and scissors to cut the 
thread which ties me still to it ! When my comijanions return they will look 
at that and exclaim, 'The Professor is dead.' Poor young friends! They 
do not know that I never was as alive as I am, and the joroof is tliat I see the 
guide going up ratlier by the right, when he j)romised me to go by the left ; 
W. was to be the last, and he is neither the first nor the last, but alone, away 
from the rope. Now tlie guide thinks that I do not see him because he hides 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, Sc. 197 

liimself behind the young men whilst drinking at my bottle of Madeira. 
Well, go on, poor man, I hope, that my body will never drink of it again. 
Ah ! there he is stealing a leg of my chicken. Go on, old fellow, eat the 
whole of the chicken if you choose, for I hope that my miserable corpse will 
never eat or drink again." I felt neither surprise nor vexation ; I simply 
stated facts with indifference. " Hallo ! " said I, " there is my wife going to 
Lucerne, and she told me that she would not leave before to-morrow, or after 
to-morrow. They are five before the hotel of Lungern. Well, wife, I am a 
dead man. Good-bye." 

I must confess that I did not call dear the one who has always heen very 
clear to me, and that I felt neither regret nor joy at leaving her. My only 
regret was that I could not cut the string. In vain I travelled through so 
beautiful worlds that earth became insignificant. I had only two wishes : the 
certitude of not returning to earth and the discovery of my next glorious 
body, without which I felt powerless. I could not be happy because the 
thread, though thinner than ever, was not cut, and the wished-for body was 
still invisible to my searching looks. 

Suddenly a shock stopped my ascension, and I felt that somebody was 
pulling and pulling the balloon down. My grief was measureless. The fact 
was that whilst my young friends threw snowballs at each other our guide 
had discovered and administered to my body the well-known remedy, rubbing 
with snow ; but as I was cold and stiff as ice, he dared not roll me for fear of 
breaking my hands still near the cigar. I could neither see nor hear any 
more, but I could measure my way down, and when I reached my body again 
I had a last hope — the balloon seemed much too big for the mouth. Sudflenly 
I uttered the awful roar of a wild beast — the corpse swallowed the balloon, 
and Bertrand was Bertrand again, though for a time worse than before. 

Here is for me an obscurity. I remember only tliat all seemed t(j me 
confusion and chaos, and I felt disdain for the guide who, expecting a good 
reward, tried to make me understand that he had done wonders, and for my 
pupils, who repeatedly approved his tiresome sayings. What I know, too, is 
that for a time tliey unmercifully shook and dragged my sore body as if I had 
been a drunkard. I never felt a more violent irritation. At last I could say 
to my poor guide, "Because you are a fool you take me for a fool, whilst my 
body alone is sick. Ah ! if you had simply cut the string." 

" The string ? What string 1 You were nearly dead." 

"Dead ! I was less dead than you are now, and the proof is that I saw you 
going up the Titlis by the right, whilst you promised me to go by the left." 

The man staggered before replying, ' ' Because the snow was soft and that 
there was no danger of slipping." 

' ' You say that because you thought me far away. You went up by the 
right and allowed two young men to put aside the rope. Who is a fool 1 You 
— not I. Now show me my bottle of Madeira, and we will see if it is full." 

The blow was such that his hands left my body and he fell down, saying, 
evidently to himself, "Did lie follow us? No, we should have seen him. 
Could he see through the mountain ? Is his body dead, and does his ghost 
jeproach me for what I did ? " 

" Oh," said I, brutally, "you may fall down and stare at me as much a,3 


Mr. F, W. H. Myers. 

you please, and give your poor explanations, bub you cannot prove that my 
chicken has two legs, because you stole one." 

This was too much for the good man. He got up, emjjtied his knai^sack 
whilst muttering a kind of confession, and then flew away. I never saw him 
after, but I heard that at an inn he ri^as as delirious as myself, and spoke 
somewhat like this : — 

"You believe that captain is a mail. [Some guides in the Oberland and 
at Zermatt called me sometimes captain because I often liad with me young- 
cadets.] But now I know him. This year I never would have gone straight 
up this side of the Titlis. Sure of unsuccess, I went, and we succeeded 

without any serious trouble. This was already astonishing. At ^ he 

pretended to be tired and stopped there. When we returned he apparently 
was as dead as death itself from apoplexy, or the sleep of the snows, and 
a cigar in his mouth. However, I rubbed and rubbed him, and to my amaze- 
jnent he came to life again to reproach me for all I had done. He had been 
in two places, seen his companions leaving the rope, seen me taking a leg of 
our chicken and some of our wine. Cajotain is not a man ; my belief is that 
I never saw the devil before yesterday and that I saw him all this half day." 

" Did he pay you what he promised ? " 

" Surely not. I would not receive a centime from the devil." [This is 
true ; I have not yet paid.] 

We, of course, arrived late at night at Trlibsee Alp, and in the morning my 
legs and arms were so stiff that to walk tlie five miles between Trdbsee and, 
Engelberg, I took nearly the whole day. How often did I regret that the 
guide had n(.)t cut the string ! My young men tried over and over again to 
calm my irritation by assuring me that the violation of their promises was 
justifiable because of the softness of the snow. I simply asked them not to 
say a word to my wife, wlio for them was to be next day — and for me was 
already — in Lucerne. 

When I arrived tliere, I asked her why she had left Interlaken sooner 
than she had told me. 

" Because I was afraid of another accident, and wanted to be nearer." 

"Were you five in the carriage, and did you stop at the Lungern 
Hotel ? " 

'' ' Yes ; who told you all that 1 Have you a spy for me ? " 
" Surely not." And I went away laughing, to write a letter to Karl, wha 
did not answer. 

Three days after, being at Pitzlvcr Ijoarding-house, I gave my young 
friends, as a token of my gratitude (1), a little banquet at the Englislier Hof,. 
to which, of course, were invited my wife and her fi'iend, Miss Hope, of 
Manchester. Tliere a young man advised secretly Miss H. to ask my wife- 
how I knew of tlieir disobedience ? My wife looked so surprised and 
displeased that I avoided the answer by a furious attack on chatterboxes,, 
and the subject was dropped. 

Anotlier fact tormented me. I had j^lainly seen, from on high, places 
where I had never been, and, of course, I much wanted to visit them, and 
verify whether my vision was exact. One was the route from Meyringen to 

1 I cannot remember the name of tlie spot, which is at the extreme right of the- 

On Indications of Gontinv,ed Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 19& 

Waseii by the Justen. I found later that I had a perfect topography of 
it, and I must confess that if I kept all those facts secretly in my heart, they 
had a real, decisive influence on my life. If I have been brought to religion, 
it is not through a pastor or even my Bible, but by a good many like or 
different facts which I might relate, but which I cannot explain. 

In 1883 I was with my colleague, Reveilland, and Pastors Elgin and 
Krieger on the summit of Santa Cruz, Algeria, when our conversation led us 
to "the separation of the soul from the body." I deplored to see medical 
doctors making a confusion between tlie soul and the life of a man, and 
because I thought myself far enough from my wife, Ireldted publ id i/ fur tJie 
first time my story of the Titlis. To my horror, my friend Elgin asked 
nie an abbreviation of it, which he corrected or not, but published in one of 
his books I 

When in Boston, as fantastic argument against materialism, I quoted it 
again before Doctors Twombly, GriiHs, Calkins, Thomas, McKenzie, &c. I 
always thought that I alone could understand its meaning, and I used it as 
to say, "Do you know v/hat is behind the curtain? I am afraid of occult 
^sciences, but . . ." 

Then came Dr. James, saying: " Hallo I This concerns a scierdific 
question. Write for me your adventure, as you remember it, and, if 
possible, find witnesses." Scientific question I Witnesses ! 

Of course, now I regret not ta have keiit a journal, for 20 years have 
elapsed. When I v/rote about my guide the answer v/as : ' ' Your Karl 
fell from the Titlis over the precipice." When I Vv^rote — from Boston — to 
my dearest friend. Professor Jules Dubourg, to whom I had said and written 
everything, his son Rev. J. A. Dubourg replied : " My father died lately, 
and we have not found your paper." When I wrote to one of my pupils, 
his friends answered : ' ' His name is not on the list because he was killed in 
the colonies." Another " left the place years ago, but I hope to find his new 
address." A fifth "is probably in India, but I have not yet an answer." I 
begged of a friend to say to some Swiss guides and chaletiers : "If you can 
find what Karl Infanger said of a tourist called Captain, his real naiiie being 
Bertrand, who often climbed the Titlis, you may expect a reward." I 
received two letters only. One is a ridiculous account of my resurrection hij 
magic at Engelberg or Trdbsee Alp. The other remembers only having 
heard that a ghost or devil had a duel with a French officer on the Titlis, 
but could not tlirow him dov^n as he did tlirow Karl Infanger— -mere trash of 
people who heard evidently of my accident, laughed at Kail's sayings, and 
who have now forgotten everything, but would like the reward. My wife 
remembers well the dinner at the Englisher Hof and why I gave it, but as 
she knew little, she answers vaguely about the details, even about Lungern 
and her travelling companions, whom she tliinks were Russi;ins and English. 
Miss Hope writes that the fact made upon her a deep im.prcsslon., but as she 
was quite a young lady, the deepest impression was that my young men took 
a long, long time to come from the Titlis to Lucerne. 

My children heard — never from me — for twenty years, and from different 
sides of my adventure, but cannot now give me names. 

Tliere I am, but I still persist in thinking that I will find some missing 
links allowing me to complete my story. All the friends I have questioned 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

remember /acfo, grosso modo, only because I refused to speak ; some disagree 
with me on names and dates, and they puzzled my poor memory for the 
present. L. J. B. 

It is pretty certain, I repeat, that this narrative, written so long 
sifter the event, must contain errors of detail. But if ^ye accept the 
writer's good faith — which there is no reason to doubt — it is probable 
that there must have been an amount of knowledge supernormally 
acquired before actual death which, if reproduced in some post- 
mortem communication, would have seemed to prove a continued power 
of terrene observation, — although in fact that power, for aught we can 
tell, might have abrujatly ceased so soon as the " thread " was iinally 

Here, then, is one possible source of mistaken ascription of post- 
mortem knowledge to the dead. Nor is the decedent's own clair- 
voyance in extremis the only clairvoyance which may thus mis- 
interpreted. There may be telepathic clairvoyance on the percipient's 
part. Various cases quoted or referred to by Mrs. Sidgwick {Pro- 
ceedings, Vols. VI. and VII.), or published in Phantasms of the Living 
(see Clairvoyance in Index), indicate that the shock of the message 
from the dying friend may in some way enable the percipient to 
discern, not only his personality, but his actual suri'oundings at the 

Let us pass a little beyond the dying scene, and come to cases 
where the decedent shows a knowledge of his own appearance or 
dress in the colRn. A striking case of this kind was given in 
Vol. VI., p. 17, and Dr. Hodgson has since interviewed the informant, 
with the result of an increased confidence in his accuracy.^ Dr. 
Hodgson has since sent us two cases where a similar knowledge on the 
decedent's part appears to be shown. 

G. 208. 

The Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, 

February 11th, 1891. 

A most remarkable incident has just come to light, and while it cannot be 
said that the truth of Spii'itualism is thereby demonstrated, it furnishes a 
deeply interesting topic for tliose who make a study of the human mind and 
would vainly attempt to exjalain some of the strange impressions made upon it. 

It will be remembered that on February 2nd, Michael Conley, a farmer 
living near Ionia, Chickasaw County, was found dead in an outhouse at the 
Jefferson house. He was carried to Coroner Hoffmann's morgue, where, after 
the inquest, his body was prepared for shipment to his late liome. Tlie old 

1 See ill thi.s connection Mrs. Farnane's dream (S. P. R. Journal, July, 1801, p. 105), 
where a mother sees her son lying dead, under circumstances fairly correspond inj^ 
with those which had accompanied his death, unkncnvn to her, a few days previously. 

2 See also Procccdinffs, "Vol. III., 95, sqq. 

On. I ndlcatlons of Continued Terrene Knoivledtje, t&c. 201 

clothes wliich liu wore wore covered with filth from the place whore he was 
found and tliey were thrown outside tlie morgue on tlie ground. 

Hiw son came from Ionia and took the corpse home. When he reached 
there and one of tlie daughteivs was told that lier father was dead, sJie fell 
into a swoon, in wliich she renrained for several hour.s. When at last she was* 
brought from the swoon, she said, " Where are father's old clothes ? He has 
just appeared to me dressed in a white shirt, black clothes, and felt [mis- 
reported for Mitlii] slijjpers, and told me that after leaving home he sewed a 
large roll of bills inside his grey shiit with a piece of my red dress and tlie 
money is still there." In a short time she fell into another swoon and when 
out of it demanded that somebody go to Dubuque and get the clothes. She 
"was deathly sick, and is so yet. 

The entire family considered it only a hallucination, but the physician 
advised thou to get the clothes, as it might set her mind at rest. The son 
telephoned Coroner Hoffmann asking if the clothes were still in his possession. 
He looked and found them in the backyard, although he had supposed they 
vv'ere thrown in the vault as he had intended. He answered that he still had 
them, and on being told that the son would come to get them, they were 
wrapped in a bundle. 

The young man arrived last Monday afternoon and told Coroner Hoffmaini 
v.-hat his sister had said. Mr. Hotrmann admitted that the lady had described 
the identical burial garb in which her father was clad, even to the slippei's. 
although she never saw him after death, and none of the family had seen 
more than his face through the coffin lid. Curiosity being fully aroused, they 
took the grey shirt from the bundle and within the bosom found a large roll 
of bills sewed with a piece of red cloth. The young man said his sister had 
a red dress exactly like it. The stitches were large and irregular, and looked 
to be those of a man. The sou v.-rajjped up the garments and took them 
home with him yesterday morning, filled with wonder at the supernatui'al 
revelation made t( > his sister, wlio is at present lingering between life and deatli. 

The Herald, Ham and Carver, Projirietors, Dubuque, 

Iowa, ilfrti-c/t 2nd, 1891. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 

Deak Sir, — Replying to inipiiry of Febi'uary 25th, would say that the 
facts in case you mention are as stated in an article published in the Herald 
of February 11th, a copy of v.hich is enclosed. The facts were given our 
re^jorter, Mr. H. L. Sill, who wrt)te the article, by Mr. Mat Hoff'mann^ 
coroner for Dubuque County. We do not know the name of the young lady's- 
physician, but you could probably learn it by addressing J. A. Wood, Ionia, 
Iowa. —Yours truly, 

Ham and Cakver. 

The Hemld, Established 183;'i, Ham and Carver, Proprietors, 

Dubuque, Iowa, March 11th, 1891. 

R. Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — I am in receipt of your favour of the 6th inst., and in answer 
will state as follows : — 

Michael Conley came to Dubuque from Ionia, Chickasaw County, I(.)wa, 



Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

on some sort of business. He was found dead in the outhouse at the 
Jefferson House, on Monday, February 2nd. Coroner Hoffmann, who is an 
undertaker, took charge of the remains. The clothes were covered with filth 
and thrown outside the morgue. Word was sent the family, and in a day or 
two the son of deceased came and took the remains home. The following 
Monday, February 9fch, the son returned, as stated in my article of February 
11th. I happened in the coroner's office while the son was still there, with 
the clothes wrapped in a bundle to take home with him. It was a few minutes 
after the money was found. The story as published is as told me by the son 
and the coroner, and, strange as it may seem, tlie published account is not 
exaggerated in the least. 

The coroner's address is, "M. M. Hoffmann, Coroner, Fifteenth and Clay 
streets, Dubuque, Iowa." 

I cannot tell you the name of Miss Conley's physician. Ionia is in 
Chickasaw County, Iowa, and over 100 miles from Dubuque. You could 
ascertain by writing the postmaster there. 

I will gladly do all in my power to aid your investigation. 

H. L. Sill. 

M. M. Hoffmann, l^ndertaker and Embalmer, Dubuqvie, Iowa, March 18th, 
1891, writes to Dr. Hodgson as follows ; — 

In regard to the statement in the Dubuque Herald, about February 19th, 
•about the Conley matter is more tlian true by my investigation. I laughed, 
and did not believe in the matter when I first heard of it, until I satisfied 
myself by investigating and seeing what I did. 

M. M. HoFFJiANN, County Coroner. 

Ionia, July 20f/i, 1891. 

Rev. J. M. Ferris, Earlville, la. 

Dear Sik, — Will fulfil my promise as near as possible. 

Elizabeth Conley, the subject of so much comment in the various papers, 
was born in Chickasaw township, Chickasaw County, Iowa, in Marcli, 1863. 
Her mother died tlie same year. Is of Irish parentage ; l)r()uglit up, and is, 
a Roman Catholic ; has been keeping house for her father for ten years. 

On the 1st day of February, 1891, her fatlier went to Dubuque, Iowa, 
for medical treatment, and died on the 3rd of the same montli very sud- 
denly. His son was notified by telegraph the same day, and he and I 
started the next morning after the remains, which we found in cliarge of 
Coroner Hoffmann. 

He had 9 dollars 75 cents, which he Iiad taken from his pocket-book. I 
think it was about two days after our return she had the dream, or vision. 
She claimed her father had appeared to her, and told her there was a sum of 
money in an inside pocket of his under-shirt. Her brother started for 
Dubuque a few days afterwards, and found the clothes as we had left them, 
and in the pocket referred to found 30 dollars in currency. Tliese are the 
facts of the matter as near as I can give tliem. 

GEOiifiE Brown. 

Mr. George Brown is an intelligent and reliable farmer, residing about 
one mile from the Conleys. 

A. Crum. 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, d-c. 203 

Ionia, la., J«Z;/ 24^7), 1891. • 

Rev. J. M. Ferris, Earlville, la. 

Dear Brother, — You asked me to write you out a statement of facts 
regarding the Conley girl, who has caused so much newspaper comment con- 
cerning an alleged vision of hers. She is of Irish parentage ; socially, 
rather above the average as to respectability ; of the Roman Catholic faith, 
yet commonly regarded as quite free from a superstitious tendency ; and 
intellectually, rather above the average, though possessed of a limited 
education. The community is divided as to the merits of the case. Many 
of the most intelligent citizens, and those most intimately acquainted with 
all the circumstances, are pronounced in their unbelief in anything ' ' super- 
natural " connected witli the dream Miss Conley had. No one doubts her 
sincerity. At times she is regarded as partially deranged in mind since her 
father's death. 

Personally, I am inclined to join with the sceptical as to any supernatural 
vision appearing to Miss Conley ; but am free to admit that I am unable to 
account for some features of the case, admitting as I must the veracity and 
sincerity of the young lady and her brotlier. 

If I have omitted any jDoint concerning which you would like to inquire, 
let me know, and I will try to answer to the best of my ability. 

L. A. Green, Past. M. E. Ch., Ionia, la. 

Dubuque, Iowa, J Line 23nl, 1891. 

Dear Mr. Hodgson, — 

I have not been able to visit Ionia, Chickasaw County, la., to investigate 
the case of the daughter of Michael Conley ; but from Mr. Hoffmann's 
assistant wlio did all the work on Mr. Couley's body, finding the clothes, 
recovering tlie money, &c., &c., I learn that tlie case has been correctly 
stated in the enclosed clipping. I can learn nothing of Miss Conley, but 
should I be able to go to her neighbourhood I shall make all inquiries and 
faithfully report the findings. — Very truly, &c., 

A:vios Crum, Past. Univ. Cli. 

Dubuque, Iowa, Au(j\ist Wtli, 1891. 
Dear Mr. Hodgson, — I send you in another cover a detailed account of 
interview with the Conleys. 
I could not get the doctor. 

I have had a long talk with Mr. Hoffmann about the Conley inc dent, and 
think you have all the facts — and they are /acis. 

The girl Lizzie Conley swooned. She saw her dead father ; she heard from 
him of the money left in his old shirt ; she returned to bodily consciousness ; 
she described her father's burial dress, robe, shirt, and slippers, exactly, 
though she had never seen them. She described the pocket in the shirt that 
had been left for days in the shed at the undertaker's. It was a ragged- 
edged piece of red cloth clumsily sewn, and in this pocket was found a roll of 
bills — 35 dollars in amount — as taken out by Mr. Hoffmann in presence of 
Pat Conley, son of the deceased, and brother of the Lizzie Conley whose 
remarkable dream or vision is tlie subject of inquiry. 

Amos Crum, Past. Univ. Ch. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

Richard Hodgson. 

My Dear Sir, — Complying wifcli your request under date of July 7th, 
1891, I have made incjuiries of the Conley family residing in Ionia, Cndckasavf 
County, la., and herewitli traiiscrilje my ijuestions addressed to Miss Elizabeth 
Conley and her replies to the same concerning her alleged dream or vision in 
which slie saw and received information from her father, then lately 

On July 17th, ahout noon, I called at the Conley home near Ionia, 
Chickasaw County, Iowa, and inquired for Elizabeth Conley. She was present 
and engaged in her domestic labours. When I stated the object of my call, 
she seemed ijuite reluctant for a monient to engage in conversation. T!ien 
she directed a lad who was present to leave the room. vShe said she would 
converse with me upon the matter pertaining to hei' fatlier. 

Q. : What is your ago ? A. : Twenty-eight. 

Q. : What is the state of your health ? A. : Not good since my fathei''s 

Q. : What was the state of your lie:ilth previous to his deatli ? A. : It 
was good. I was a healthy girl. 

Q. : Did you have dreams, visions, or swoons previous to your father's 
death 1 A. : Why, I had dreams. Everybody has dreams. 

Q. : Have you ever made discoveries or received other information during 
your dreams or visions previous to your father's deatli ? A. : No. 

Q. : Had there been anything unusual in your dreams or visions previous 
to your father's death ? A. : No, not that I know of. 

Q. : Was your father in tlie haljit of carrying consideral)le sums of money 
about his person ? A. : Not tiiat I kne\v of. 

Q. : Did you know before /i/.s deatli of the pocket in tlie breast of the 
shirt worn by him to Dubuque ? A. : N.i. 

Q. : Did you wash or prepare tliat shirt for him to wear on his trip to 
Dubuciue A. : No. It was a heavy woollen undershirt, and the pocket was 
stitched inside of the breast of it. 

Q. : Will you recite the circumstances connected with the recovery of 
raoney from clothing worn by your fatlier at the time oi his death ? A. 
(after some hesitation) : When they told me that father was dead I felt very 
sick and bad ; I did not know anything. Then father came to me. He had 
on a white shirt and black clothes and slippers. When I came to, I told Pat 
[her brother] I had seen father. I asked him (Pat) if he had brought l)ack 
father's old clothes. He said "No," and asked me why I wanted them. I 
told him father said to me he had sewed a roll of bills inside of his grey 
shirt, in a pocket made of a piece of my old red dress. I went to sleep, 
and father came to me again. When I a'lvoke, I told Pat he must go and get 
the clothes. 

Q. : While in these swoons did you hear tlie ordinary conversations or 
noises in the house about you ? A. : No. 

Q. : Did you see your father's body after it was placed in its coffin ? 
A. : No ; I did not see him after he left the house to go to Dubuque. 

Q. : Have you an education ? A. : No. 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, tCr. 205 

Q. : Can you reiul and viTite ? A. : Oh yes, I can read and write ; hut 
I've not been, to school much. 

Q. : Are you willing to write out wliat you have ti_)ld me of this strange 
affair ( A. : Why I've told you all I know about it. 

She was averse to writing or to signing a written statement. Duiing the 
conversation she was quite emotional, and manifested much effort to .suppress 
lier feelings. She is of little more than medium size, of Irish parentage, of 
Catholic faith, and shows by her conversation that her education is limited. 

Her brother, Pat Conley, corroborates all tliat she has recited. He is a 
.sincere and substantial man, and has no theory upon wliicli to account for 
the strange facts that have come to his knowledge. In his presence. Coroner 
Hoffmann, in Dubuque, fovnid the shirt with its pocket of red cloth stitched 
on the inside with long, straggling, and awkward stitches, just as a dim- 
sighted old man or an awkward boy might sew it tliere. The pocket was 
about 7 [seven] inches deep, and in the pocket of that dirty old shirt that 
had lain in Hoffmann's back room was a roll of bills amounting to 35 dollars. 
When the shirt was found with the pocket, as described by his sister after 
her swoon — and the money as told her by tlie old man after liis death, Pat 
Conley seemed dazed and overcome by the mystery. Hoffmann says tlie girl, 
after her swoon, described exactly the burial suit, shirt, coat or robe, and 
satin slippers, in vidiich the body vi'as ^n-epared for burial. She even described 
minutely the slippers, which were of a new pattern tliat had not been in the 
market here, and which the girl could never have seen a sample of ; and she 
had not seen, and never saw, the body of her fatlier after it was placed in the 
coffin, and if slie had seen it she could not have seen his feet " in the nice 
black satin slippers " v>'hich she described. 

You m-iy write this Conley incident down as a simple, honest thing. It 
is unquestionably genuine. 

I send you two letters from citizens of Ionia, who are certified to me by 
the Rev. J. M. Ferris, concerning tlie Conleys. Mr. Ferris allows me to 
send the letters as received. They were obtained at my request from old 
friends of the Rev. Mr. Ferris. I have done all I could to get the bottom 
facts. —Cordially yours, 

Alios Cruh, Pastor Univ. Cliurcli. 

Dubuque, Li. 

If we may accept the details of this ]iarrative, which seems to have 
baeu carefully and promptly investigated, we find that the phantasm 
communicates two sets of facts ; one of them known only to sti'angers 
(the dress in which he was ljuried), and one of them known only to 
himself (the existence of the inside pocket and the money therein). 
In discussing from what mind these images originate it is of course 
important to note wdiether any living minds, known or unknown to 
the percipient, were aware of the facts thus conveyed. 

The second instance occurs at the beginning of a series of experiences, 
which, for convenience' sake, may here he gi^-en entire. The coinci- 
dences irivolved are not all of them equally striking ; but their frequent 
repetition with the same percipient is a fact of interest. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

Dr. Hodgson has interviewed Mr. Quint, and considers him a trustworthy- 
witness. He has never asked money for the exercise of his fiowers. 

G. 209. 

Febniarn mil, 1891. 
My wife's brother died a year ago hist fall. I couhl not go to tlie funeral 
myself owing to pressure of business, but all of my family went. 

About two months later I was sitting alone with my wife at supper when 
I felt an extraordinary heat d(jwn the spinal cord, preceded by a shock 
reseml)ling an electric shock. It made me start. My wife asked the reason. 
I told her that I saw Frank {i.e., her brother) with his n^other (who had died 
about eight years previously) standing Ijehind me. I explained that he was 
dressed as I had never seen him — the shirt being very deep and wide oi)eii. 
My wife then told me that he had been laid out in precisely that way. I had 
not heard any details of his laying out. 

(Signed) Wilson Quint. 

The above is correct. 
(Confirmation of wife) J. W. Quint. 

A year ago I went to Maiden to pay a ljusiness visit in the evening to a 
gentleman there, Mr. M. I had been on two previous occasions to the house 
and stayed but a moment or two, as my visits were of a very brief business 
nature. On the first visit I had seen Mr. M. and his wife, and I have a faint 
recollection of seeing some children at the house. 

On the second visit I saw Mr. M. for a moment at the door. 

On this last occasion, as I entered the house I fdt my head enveloped in 
a cloud, as it were, though I did not .st'c anything. I sat down with Mr. M. 
His wife came into the room, and, as she shook hands, she said, "We have 
met with a great trial. Yesterday we liuried our little girl. She was run 
over and killed almost immediately. She breathed but once after entering 
tlie house." Almost as soon as she had finished speaking, I saw tlie figure of 
a little girl standing at the right hand of Mr. M. I did not mention this at 
once, but first said a few words of comfort, and then stated that with tlieir 
permission I would tell them what I saw. They desired me to tell them, and 
I described the figure. "She was dressed in light clothing, not what you 
would call Cfdico, I think, but probably you would call it muslin. She is 
round-favoured, blue eyes, light hair. A peculiarity of her dress is what we 
used to call a tire tied loosely roxuid the neck and loosely round the waist at 
the back." 

I then rose to go. Mrs. M. sprang from her seat and caught me by the 
hand, saying, " Mr. Quint, the description of our little one is perfect." Mr. 
M. alsf) said that the descrijjtion was perfect. 

(Signed) Wilson Quint. 
[Mrs. M. writes that they wish to l)e excused from giving their testi- 
mony. — R.H.] 

In a savings bank where I am employed, a lady, of apparently about fifty 
years of age, was waiting to be attended to, and slie spoke to me with regard 
to business matters, saying that she found it ditticult tf) manage her husljand's 
affairs. I said, Did your head come to about your husband's shoulder 

Oil Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 207 

Did your husband wear a long frock coat buttoned up ? Yes. 
Did he wear a silk hat ? Yes. But why do you ask these questions ? 
I ex2:)lained to her tliat I saw a figure standing a few paces behind her as; 
I described it. 

I do not know who the lady was, and have never seen her before or since. 

(Signed) Wilson Quint. 

About a year ago, when treating a rheumatic patient by massage treat- 
ment and passes, I saw the figure of a young man standing at her right 
liand holding a hat in his hand. I mentioned the circumstance to her and 
she said that a son of hers had died about a year before, and that it might 
j)ossibly be he. Nothing further special was said at that time, but the scene 
recurred to me in reflection, and I wondered why the figure should be hold- 
ing a hat, so peculiar as it seemed to be. On my next visit two weeks later, I 
questioned the lady about tlie hat and described it in detail. It was a form 
of Derbj', but the top was square like a silk hat. She was much surprised, 
and told me tliat that was tlie identical shape of hat that her son had always 
persisted in wearing. 

[The above is perfectly correct in every respect. To me it is wonderful. I 
am the mother of the young man. 

(Signed) Mrs. Maria E. Fisher.] 

I have had experiences of tliis kind occasionally for about three years, 
perhajjs eighteen or twenty of them. The forms are just as vivid and real in 
every way, so far as vision goes, as liviiig men and women. They disappear 
by gradually fading away — vanishing like a cloud. I have never touched any 
of the forms. 

About two and a half years ago, I called upon a friend one Sunday morn- 
ing, and while conversing with him, just after he had made some reference to 
his daughter, I saw three figures in the corner of the room in the direction of 
his riglit I descriV)ed them to him as follows : — 

" I see a young lady about eighteen years of age, an elderly lady with her 
with a cap on, and another lady a little in tlie rear of them and between them, 
apparently abovit thirty-five years of age." He recognised them as his wife, 
his mother, and liis daughter, and informed m.e that his daughter had died at 
the age of eighteen, and his wife at the age of thirty-five. 

I had never seen these persons living, so far as I know, but I believe I 
had heard that these two members of his family had died. 

Wilson Quint. 

Everett, April 13th, 1891. 
I remember perfectly well the circumstances as related above. 

G. H. Burr. 

March 21s/, 1891. 
About six or seven months ago I was talking witli a friend of mine, Mr. 
Dill, when I saw the figure of a man somewhat past middle age half reclining 
behind him, as though leaning to the right on one side of a chair, though I 
did not see any chair. I described the figure to Mr. Dill at his request as 
follows : " Light complexion, blue eyes, round-favoured, with broad fore- 

208 . Mr. F. W. II. Mijers. 

hoad and not iv superfluous quantity of hair on the front of his head. The 
peculiarity of his dress was a buff waistcoat, with noticeable watchchaiu and 
fob hanging down by the buttons." 

Mr. Dill recognised upon tlie instant a man whom he had known, an old 
friend, down at Cape Cod, Avho had been gone a number of years. I knew 
nothing whatever about any such person. 

Wilson Quint. 

Everett, April 2iuJ, 1891. 
The above statement is true as far as I am able to recognise one from a 
description of his person. Tiie person described Avas Cajstain J. J. Jacobs, of 
Wenfleet, Mass. N. S. C. Dill. 

I may here mention a dream-case recorded in FIumtnsDis of tlfi 
Living, Vol. I., p. 365, with regard to wliich we have since learnt an 
interesting detail. The case is briefly as follows : About March, 1857, 
Mrs. Menneer in England dreamt that she saw her l^rother, whose 
whereabouts she did not know, standing headless at the foot fif the 
bed, with his head lying on a coffin by his side. The dream was at 
once mentioned. It afterwards apjaeared that at about that time the 
head of the brother seen, Mr. "Wellington, was actually cut off by 
Chinese at Sarawak. On this case Mr. Gurney remarks : " This dream, 
if it is to be telepatliically explained, must apparently have been due 
to the last flash of tliought in the l)i-other's consciousness. It may 
seem strange that a definite picture of liis uu)de of death should present 
itself to a man in the instant of receiving an unexpected and fatal 
blow ; but, as Hobbes said, 'Thought is quick.' The coffin, at any rate, 
may be taken as an item of death-image ly supplied by the dreamer's 

We have now, howe\er, seen a letter from Sir James Brooke 
(Rajah of Sarawak) and an extract from the Straits Times of March 
21st, 1857, in the (London) Times for April 29th, 1857, which make it, 
I think, quite conceivable that the dream was a reflection of kiutw- 
ledge acquired by Mr. Wellington after death, and that the liead on 
the coffin had a distinct meaning. Sir James Brooke says : " Poor 
Wellington's remains were consumed [l)y the Chinese] ; his head, l)orne 
off in triumph, alone attesting liis previous murder." The Straits 
Times says: "The head was given up on the following day." The 
head, therefore, and the head alone, must undouljtedly have been 
buried by Mr. Wellington's friends ; and its appearance in the dream 
on a coffin, with the headless body standing beside it, is a coincidence 
even more significant than the facts which Mr. Gurney had l)efore him 
when he wrote. 

Somewhat similar is a case of viaking apparition sent by I))', and 
Mrs. Entwistle to Dr. Hodgson, where tlie j^hantom of a man wlio 
dies of a sudden wound, — certainly of a more ordinary type than Mr. 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, <t-r. 209 

Wellington's decapitation ! — is seen with the wound, while the l)ody is 
lying in the morgue. 

G. 223. 

Englewood, Mmj Idth, 1891. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Your invitation, as indicated by yours of May 14th, at 
hand, and reminds me of a recent experience of my husband. It occuired 
the latter part of February,' 1891. I will call my husband Doctor, as he is 
a physician. The others I will give true initials ; L'ut as they might object, 
will not give full names. One mor-ning, about nine o'clock, the latter ])arfc 
of February, the Doctor was walking rajjidly along Hixty-third-street for the 
station to catch a trahi Ijouud for tlie city, Ciiicag;), some seven miles 
distant. He crossed over from the south side to the north side of fl;e 
street, and looking ujj ahead of him saw Mr. M. coming- -a man wIkj was 
a drinking profligate, and who boarded in the city, and a carouser v.ho 
turned night into day, but one whom the doct(jr had known f<n- twenty 
years, and had seen, perhaps, every few weeks, as he might meet him in the 
Grand Pacific Hotel in the city. So his first thought in seeing him was, 
"You must have had an early start." He noted in his mind his clothes, his 
overcoat, his hat, and that he looked begrimed and cold. He kept looking 
at him, and Mr. M. looked directly at the Doctor v. ith such a woe-begone, 
God-forsaken expression. The Doctor noticed he was bruised, and had a 
certain shaped cut vmder one eye, and he thought, "Well, you must have 
been on a regular tear." Not caring to be stopped, he passed him without 
speaking ; and Mr. M. turned his head, and kept watching him with that 
same forlorn expression, that the Doctor felt in his lieart he ought to have 
spoken, and hesitated, thinking to go after him, but did not, as he (Mr. M.) 
crossed the street, and went down Yale, and was lost to view, though he 
looked around at the Doctor. When the Doctor got on the train he met 
Mr. L., a brother-in-law of mine, and he told him that he just met Cliarley 
M., and he should judge he had been on a terrible tear, and went on telling 
him as I have told, mentioning this cut, and telling under which eye it was, 
&c. Mr. L. asked where he (Mr. M.) went, and the Doctor said, "Why, ho 
went down Yale, and I suppose he was going down to see his wife." " Ob, 
no," said Mr. L., "his wife won't allow him round." (His wife had 
obtained a divorce some years before.) So the two arrived in the city, and 
went to tlie Grand Pacific, and met Mr. A. B., who had a Tribune in his 
hand, and he said, "Charley M., I guess, is dead, for here is a notice in the 
paper that seems it must be him lying in the morgue for identification, 
although the name is not quite right." Before he finished the Doctor spoke 
lip and said, "It is not he, for I just met him in Englewood." "les," 
said Mr. L., " he told me about it." Mr. A. B. said, " Why, my brother, 
Mr. W. B. (who was a brother-in-law to the dead man), has gone to the 
morgue to see if it is Mr. M. ; but, of course, if j'ou met him, \\hy it 
can't be." So the Doctor took the Tribune and read the notice, and said, 
"This says Mr. iV., and says so-and-so ; and shows on the face of it they 
did not know as he was dressed so-and-so, and had a cut under such an eye. 
Then, anyway, I saw him witliin the hour alicc." After a while Mr. W. B. 
came in, and said it was Mr. M. sure enough ; that he was going out to 


Mr. F. ^Y. H. Myers. 

Englewood to inform Mrs. M., wliiuli he did, ;uul the body was cared for 
and buried. As matters turned out it seems tliat he liad some drunken brawl 
in some low dive, and the conclusion was lie was thrown out, was found by 
the police unconscious, was taken to the county hospital, where he died 
within a few hours, still unconscious, was taken to the morgue to await 
i<lentification, and the notice put in the one paper, probably by some night 
reporter. It also came out that the Doctor's description was exactly so, and 
that the time he met the man his body was lying in the morgue. Now, these 
are the main facts. If there are any questions that the Doctor can answer, 
he is willing to do so. M. L. Entwistle. 

J. G. W. Entwistle, M.D. 

Investigating a Death. 

C. H. N. , a veteran pensioner, became involved in a quarrel at the 
^W'stern House on Clark-street, near Van Buren, and was ejected. He was 
found by the jjolice on the sidewalk, taken first to the station and later to 
tlie county hospital, where he died last evening. The case is being investi- 
gated.— The Ohkafjo Trihnne, February 10th, 1891. 

M.— Monday, February 9tli, at the Cook County Hospital, C. H. M., 
aged 47 years, late member of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery. Notice 
of funeral later.— The Chicago Tribune, February 11th, 1891. 

Dr. l<]utwistle's companion adds the foll(_>\ving corroboration : — 

"I think some details in the latter part of the above narrative have not 
been told nearly strongly enough. 

' ' After Dr. Entwistle and myself reached the city, we went immediately 
to the hotel, and meeting Mr. A. B., sat down and entered into conversation 
with him on general subjects. Some gentleman, unknown to either of us, 
stepped up and pointing out a notice in the morning paper, asked A. B. if 
he thought it referred to C. M., as the name in print was misspelled. A. B. 
immediately expressed himself that it was C. M. , and then Dr. E., reading 
the notice, said it could not be, as he had met M. at Englewood that morn- 
ing. I stated that it was a fact, as the Doctor had told me, and we had 
talked of the circumstance on the way to the city. This seemed to convince 
A. B. that it was not M., as he knew Dr. Entwistle was well acquainted 
with M., and would not be liable to be misled. At this time W. B., a 
brother-in-law of M.'s, joined us, and the matter of the notice brought to his 
attention, he suggested that he and the stranger (who we afterwards 
learned was an army companion of M. 's) should visit the morgue. This they 
did, although A. B. protested that it was no use, from the fact that M. had 
been seen that morning at Englewood. Upon returning from the morgue, 
W. B. told us it was M., and went on to describe his marks and clothing, 
which tallied in every particular with the description given me hy the 
Doctor in the morning. 

"C. L.i 

''March 22mJ, 1892." 

I In another case, which we owe to the kindness of Lord lJute, the face of the 
deceased was seen with wraps wliich apparently corresponded to some rather 
unusual swathings after death. Mrs. Pilkington, of Valley Lodge, Scarborough, 
tells us that some years ago an aunt of hers died in London. "About 3 months 

On Tndications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, dr. 211 

I have already (Vol. VI., ]). 31) mentioned the "curious type of 
cases where some manifestation occurs just before the news of the 
death is received by the percipient." Some more narratives of this 
kind have reached us ; — thus illustrating what we often find to be the 
case, that these phenomena do really fall into natural groups, — although 
those groups are often such as we had no previous reason for anticipating. 

It is evidentially important to observe that these apparitions occur 
before and not after the news has Ijeen actually communicated. The 
moment after the communication may be taken as that of maximum 
shock, and if the recipient of the news were then to see a phantom of 
his friend, one might well suppose that this was the mere embodiment 
of his own agitated grief. But I do not remember any instance (except 
Conley's, just quoted) where the apparition followed on the receipt of 
the news. And in Conley's case the phantom showed its reality, as 
we have seen, in other ways. Apait from that case (so far as I know) 
the appai'ition has alwajs preceded the arrival of the letter or messenger 
announcing the death. 

What mind, then, is it which knows that the letter is coming ? We 
have elsewhere remarked that this sense of an approaching letter seems 
sometimes to occur as a form of clairvoyance, where no mind other than 
the percipient's can be supposed to be specially interested in the letter's 
arrival. On the other hand, if spirits still in the flesh may possess 

afterwards she appeared to me in this way. I belield her in my room near the door. 
I noticed that her head was much enveloped and that her mouth was covered over. 
I wrote an account of this to my sister who was with hsr at lier death.'' "My sister 
did not keep my letter, but she told me that previous to death my aunt's liead had 
been much enveloped by shawls, as she complained so much of the cold ; and that 
after death blood had issued from the mouth, caused by her complaint, bronchitis, 
so that her mouth was covered over after her deatli." But here the habitual mental 
picture of a corpse as swathed about the head seems to com* too near to the 
apparition actually seen to allow us to ascribe evidential force to the coincidence 
in the wrappings. 

I might add here a reference to ISIr. Romilly's account of the phantasm of 
the murdered Kimueli, with banda;;es such as had actually been placed on his 
head {Procecdimjs, Vol. VI., p. 55). But Mr. Allardyce (with whona we were 
unable previously to communicate, owing to ignorance of his address) has now 
returned to England; and we learn from him that he did not himself see the figure 
of Kimueli, and that his journal contains no record of Mr. Romilly's having seen 
Kimueli ;— although he knows that the natives were on the look-out for the ghost. 
Xow Mr. Romilly does not precisel3- say that Mr. Allardyce saw the figure ; but 
Mr. Allardyce's account leads us to think that Mr. Romilly 's experience may have 
been a mere subjective hallucination, caused by expectation, and which, even if 
shared by superstitious natives, cannot count as evidential. 

I may mention that we have succeeded in tracing one of Mr. Owen's 
informants in the Children case (Vol. VI., p. 54). This ladj' is, as Mr. Owen said, of 
good position ; but she dislikes the topic, and partly (as she tells us) from defect of 
memory, partly from some private reason, she declines to correspond further on tlie 
matter. We can only regret t'lat Mr. Owen did not obtain first-hand signed state- 
ments at the time. 


Mr. F. W. 11. Mtjevs. 

clairvoyant power we cannot say that dif c ii'nate spirits may not possess 
such power also ; pei-haps specially as to inatters relating to their own 
earth-history, — such as the diffusion of iiews of their own demise. 
For the present we must confine ourselves to noting these cases as they 

But before proceedhig to new cases, I may mention that Mr. 
Cameron Grant's case {Pluintasms of the Liciag, Vol. II., p. 690, and 
Proceedings, Vol. VI., p. 31) has l)een further strengthened, by 
permission to print the jJassages from Mr. (Irant's diary, and by inter- 
views of my own with the widow and daughter of the decedent. Lord 
Z., (not the true initial,) who were present at the time of the death. 

The following is Mr. Grant's statement, made . to me July 28th, 

" The first form in which tliis impression canie to me was tliat of deep 
sympathy for [a member of Lord Z.'s family]. After this had lasted for 
some time I found myself rudely drawing a tall man stooping forwards on to 
another man. I had a conviction that Lord Z. was dead, — that tlie falling 
forward indicated death. I also dimly jjerceived tlie position of windows 
behind the falling figure, tliougli I did not draw these. I wrote to my mother 
at once to say that I knew tliat Lord Z. was dead. [Letter not preserved.] I 
was then up the country in Brazil, ;ind saw few papers. I heard from 
England that Lord Z. was dead ; but (as I told Mr. Gurney) did not look for 
<late in papers, and did not, so far as I know, hear the date in any letter. 

" Gn reaching England I was partially hypnotised by a jjliysician of my 
ncquaintance [name given] ; but did not lose cansciousness. During my 
semi-trance I became aware that I was seeing the room and windows and the 
falling figure, )nore clearly than ever Ijefore. I talked of this scene to the 
jjliysician. Afterwards he invited me to lo(jk in a crystal. I did so ; and 
saw the same room ; — the windows, bed, ;uul figure, more distinctly. 

" I afterwards went to stay in tlie liiiusc wliere LordZ. died. As soon as 
I entered I asked Lady Z. to allow ma to describe to her the room wliere I 
had seemed to see Lord Z. dying. Lady Z. was at first increduhnis ; Init on 
my describing the position of bed and windows she admitted that it was 
correct. Lord Z. had died in a dressing-room adjacent to his bedroom. Tlie 
temporary bed and windows were exactly as I liad seen tliem. He had 
fallen foi-ward.s into the arms oi a m;ile attendant, dying suddenly." 

The first impression of the death, — which was nearly coiiu-ident, — was on 
December 24th, 1885 (date verified by Mr. Gurney). Entry in diary 
December 25th, 1885 : There was somatliing upon my mind idl day from 
yesterday, — a sense of a death or loss of someone dear to me. I spoke to 
E.C. [Mr. Catlin, tlie manager, who wrote in corroboration] about it ; and I 
don't know how it is, but as I wrote the above [a member of Lord Z.'s 
family] has )5Son constantly in my thoughts. 

Tlien on Tuesday, January 26t]i, 188f), is an entry, — read Ijy me in Mr. 
Grant's journal, and copied for me by liim, — as follows :• — 

"Impression at al)out 1 o'clock and drawing and reasoning therefrom 
on death." 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoniedye, ct-c. 213 

January 27th. "Very tired, but did not sleep a wink all night. I am 
sure that something has happened to [a member of Lord Z.'s family]. I 
heard every hour strike, and kept thinking of [all the members of the 
family] but not of the dear old gentleman [i.e., imagining tJiem in sorrow, 
l)ut not Lord Z. himself]. I got up and wanted to draw him. His features 
seemed before me. I had before shown Mr. Catlin a face in the Graph ic thiit 
was like him, also that of a dead man. I had the greatest difficulty not to 
draw his portrait with his head forward and sunk on his breast, as if he had 
been sitting in a room with a v. indow on his right hand and an old man- 
servant ; — and then his head just went forward, and he fell asleep. Weeks 
ago [i.e., December 25th] I thought of him, — some time aliout Christmas ; 
and ever since I have been feeling [pity, &c., for members of family]. 

On the next day, Thursday, January 28th, 188(), Mr. Grant received by 
accident a Scotch paper in which Lord Z. '.s death was mentioned, — but 
apparently without the precise date. 

I have received a letter, (which I have unfortunately mislaid,) from Mr. 
Catlin, corroborating Mr. Grant's statements as to liis having shown hiin 
drawings and spoken of the death of a friend at home. 

Lady Z. and Miss Z. gave me, in April, 18!>2. the following corrobora- 
tion : — 

Lord Z. died December 24th, 1885, in a dressing-room adjoining his own 
larger room. The dressing-room was narrow, with a Vv'indow at one end, and 
a small bed, then occupied by a man-servant who attended on him. Lord Z. 
had entered this room to speak to the sei-vant, when he fell forward, the 
.servant catching him in his arms, and shortly afcerw^ii'ds breathed his last. 
His death was unexpected, adthough he had lonj/ been ill. I remember that 
Mr. Cameron Grant visited our country seat,- where tliis occurred, — for the 
first time some months after Lord Z.'s death : and that he said something to 
me as to his having known of it, or recognised the scene ; but I cannot now 
remember the details. (Signed) [Lady Z.] 

I rem9nd)er that Mr. Cuneron Grant, before going upstairs, when he 
arrived on the visit referred to, asked whether my father had not fallen 
forwards into the arms of a man, in a long rtiom with a window at one end 
of it. » (Signed) [Miss Z.] 

This case should be studied along with Mr. Cameron Grant's other 
records of experiences (Plifoifasms of tlie Livliuj. IT.. \.\). fi88-690). 

It would in a certain way explain these intimations if we coidd su[)pose 
that Lord Z., (who was, and who knew Mr. Grant to lie, much interested in 
such phenomena,) first imjirassed Mr. Grant at the time of his own death, 
and then renewed the impression when he knew — in some inconceivable 
manner — that Mr. Grant was about to receive, quite e;isually, a newsjiaper 
announcement ol the decease. On that occasion the decedent seems to have 
been able to impress a picture of the scene of death on Mr. Grant's, 
subconscious mind ; an impression which worked itself out in the rude 
drawings, as a "motor message," and afterwards returned both as a vision 
in hypnotic trance, and as a "crystal-vision" in the waking state. Here, 
however, as in all similar cases, we cannot exclude the possibility of a wide 
clairvoyance on the percij^ient's own jwi't- Tiie full psychical history of. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

every such percipient should be studied ; — a matter hard of attainment in 
Mr. Gi-ant's case, owing to liis absorption in business, and his residence at 
Marahu, in Brazil. 

In the first new case which I shall quote there was already a vivid . 
emotional shock in neighbouring minds, from the receipt of the 
message, which may have facilitated — some may say have caused — the 
apparition seen by the man to whom the news had not yet been de- 

Tliis letter was addressed to the late Professor Adams, at Cambridge. 
G. 210. 

St. Luke's Church, Cer Van Ness-avenue, and Clay-street, 

San Francisco, California, Septvmhev 11th, 1890. 

Dear Sir, — I received to-day from some officer of your Society a few 
circulars re your work. These circulars remind me of an interesting and 
curious occurrence in my parisli a few weeks ago, which may be useful as a 
contribution to your investigations. I will detail it Ijrielly and without 
Tiames ; but if you find it valuable will try to obtain affidavits, &c. Let me 
premise by saying that I am in the ]30sition of reserving my judgment " 
about such phenomena as you investigate. I do not deny that such things 
occur, nor have I of my own experience any knowledge on the subject. 

My choir-trainer, a man in robust healtli and with a predisposition «//rt//(sf 
anything " Spiritualistic," saw plainly the apparition of one of his choir, a 
man of fifty years old. It happened thus : — 

Mr. R[ussell], the bass-singer of the choir, fell in an apo])lectic fit upon the 
street at 10 o'clock on a certain Fiiday ; he died at 11 o'cLjck at his house. 
My wife, learning of his death, sent my brother-in-law down to the house of 
the choirmaster [Mr. Reeves] to ask liim about music f(jr the funeral. The 
messenger reached the house of the clioirmaster about 1.30 i).m. He was told 
that the choirmaster was upstairs, liusy looking over some music. He 
accordingly sat down in the drawing-r(.)om, and, wliile w;uting, began to tell 
the ladies (sister and niece of the clioirmaster) about Mr. R.'s death. While 
they were talking they heard an exclamation in tlie hall- way. Some one said, 
" My God 1 " They rushed out, and halfway down, sitting on the stairs, saw 
the choirmaster in his shirt-sleeves, showing signs of great fright and con- 
fusion. As soon as he saw them he exclaimed, " I have just seenR. 1 " The 
niece at once said, "Why, R. is dead ! " At this the choirmaster without a 
word turned back upstairs and went to his room. My brother-in-law 
followed him and found him in complete jjrostration, his face white, &c. He 
then told my brother-in-law what he had experienced. 

He had been looking over some music ; had just selecte<l a "Te Deum" for 
the morning service. This "Te Deum" closed with a quartette setting for two 
bass and two tenor voices. He was wondering where he could get a second 
tenor. Finally, he went to the door on his way downstairs to look up 
anotlier " Te Deum." At the door lie saw Mr. R., who stood with one 
hand on his brow, and one hand extended, holding a sheet of music. The 
choirmaster advanced, extended his hand, and was going to speak, wlien the 
figure vanished. Then it was that lie gave the exclamation mentioned above. 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d'c. 215 

You must remember that he knew nothing of R.'s deatli until ho 
heard his niece speak of it as detailed above. 

This is the best authenticated ghost story I ever lieard. I know all tlio 
parties well, and can vouch for their trutlifulness. I have no doubt that the 
choirmaster saw something, either subjectively or objectively. Whatever it 
was, the experience was so vivid that it made him sick for days, though he 
is a man of exceptional physique. 

At first I tried to explain tliis on natural grounds. I thought possildy he 
liad been in the room overhead, and had overheard, unconsciously, the story 
of R.'s death, and by a process of unconscious cerebration summoned up 
the image of the dead man. But this is impossible, because the house is very 
large, the rooms widely apart, &c. 

My present conviction is this : Mr. R. was a man of tlie utmost regu- 
larity and faithfulness in fulfilling his duties. He has sung for us without 
pay for many years. His first thought (or one of the first), after his stroke 
of apoplexy, must have been : " Hovf shall I get word to the choirmaster 
that I cannot go to rehearsal to-morrow niglit '] " In an hour he died, 
without ever having recovered consciousness. My notion is that in some 
way he was enabled to make himself appear to the choirmaster. If you refer 
to the attitude in which he appeared, you will see that it answers to my 
supposition. It indicates his illness (a pain in the head), and his desire to 
give up, so to speak, his duty as singer. 

You probably have many other incidents of this nature on record. If 
you have any theory about them I wish you would send me a copy of whatever 
you have bearing on this. 

It is interesting to me because it is so perfectly authenticated. — Yours 
faithfully, Wm. W. Davis, Rector. 

Mr. Reeves' own account is i-ei3orted in the San Francisco Ohronicle 
{quoted in Light, September 27th, 1890) as "a tale told to a Chronicle repoi'ter 
Ijy a gentleman who would be at once pronounced the last person in the 
world to become the prey of superstition or the victim of delusion. 

"Early on Friday morning Edwin Russell, an Englishman, well known as 
n real estate agent, was walking near the corner of Sutter and Mason streets 
when he sustained an apoplectic stroke, from the eft'ects of which he died 
shortly before noon. He had resided in the city ten years, and was well and 
favourably known in the commercial world here. 

' ' Mr. Russell was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and also 
the possessor of a rich bass voice. This made him a welcome addition to the 
choir of St. Luke's Church, and brought him in immediate contact witli the 
Rev. W. W. Davis, vicar of the church, and with Harry E. Reeves, tlie 
recently appointed choir leader. Mr. Reeves is a nephew of the distinguished 
English tenor of the name, and conducted tlie musical services at the funeral 
of President Chester A. Arthur. 

"It was to Mr. Reeves that the very sensational and startling revelation 
Tiow to be recoi-ded was vouchsafed. Mr. Reeves was found at the residence 
of his sister, Mrs. Cavanagh, 2,121, California-street, by a Chronicle reporter. 
He became evidently agitated when asked if it were true that he had seen the 
apparition of Russell before hearing of the latter's death. 


Mr. F. ir. H. Mijers. 

" ' 1 will tull yiiu all about it,' said Mr. Reeve.-i, 'and, if you allow me, I 
will illustrate the matter by sliowing you the positions I occupied during this 
strange ;iffair. I want to say at once that I am not a Spiritualist, and have 
always been very sceptical about all stories of post-mortem appearances and 
ghosts generally. 

" 'I last saw Russell alive on the Saturday night previous to his death. 
Russell came to the choir rehearsal. I said to him ; " Do you know where I 
can get a good cigar ? " and he recommended a place. I went there with him, 
and then took such a fancy to him that I invited him to come to my house, or 
rather my sister's house. We agreed to postpone his visit till the following- 
Saturday, and he said : "Well, I'll call on you next week anyhow." The 
matter passed from my mind until Friday afternoon, about three o'clock. I 
always make it a jjoint to look over my music for Sunday a day or two before, 
and on this occasion I vras sitting in the parlour and took up two "Te Deums" 
to make a choice. One was Starkweather's in G, the other a composition of 
Kroell's. Just as I had taken one in my liand and was going upstairs to my 
room to look over it I heard the front door bell ring, and recognised that 
f. )me visitor whom I did not then know had called. I afterwards learned that 
it was young Mr. Sprague, who can tell you his story v.'hen you ask him. 

" ' I went into my room [illustrating the action as he ascended the stairs and 
opened the door into a well-lighted and comfortably-furnished sleeping apart- 
ment, with a lounge and parkair organ]. I lay down on the lounge for ;i 
moment, then by an impulse I cannot account for, I walked to the door. The 
head of the stairway was somewhat dindy lighted, as you see it now, but not 
so dimly but what I could at once see what appeared to be the figure of 
Russell. It was so real, so lifelike, that I at once stepped forward and 
stretched out my liand, and was about to speak some words of welcome. 

' ' ' The figure seemed to have a roll of music in one hand and the other over 
its face, but it was Russell's image. I am cpiite sure of that. As I advanced 
to the head of the stairway the tigui'e seemed to turn, as if about to descend, 
and faded into the air.' 

" Mr. Reeves' manner during the recital was precisely that of a person witli 
well-balanced mind who had seen something horrible and startling, but was 
willing and ready to accept a rational explanation if any were forthcoming. 
He went on to say : — 

" ' I remember trying to speak to the figure, but the tongue clung to the 
roof of my mouth. Tlien I fell against the wall and gasped out. "Ah ! My 
God I " just like that. My sister and niece, with the other folks, came up. 
My niece said, " Uncle Harry, what's the matter?" I went on to explain 
what it was, but was so scared I could hardly speak. My niece said, " Don't 
you know Russell is dead >. " Well, that flabbergasted me ; it only made 
matters worse, and I nearly fainted. Then they told me that the Rev. Mr. 
Davis had sent Mr. Sprague to tell me of the sad news. I was terribly 
startled by the affair, and feel shaky even now, but I am not given to super- 
■stitious fears, and I suppose it can be explained. Mr. Sprague had been 
v/aiting nearly half an hour before I saw him and obtained corroboration of 
the n.ews of Russell's death. It is very strange ; very strange, indeed. I savv^ 
that man Russell after he must have been dead three hours at least, as plainly 
as I see you in that chair.' 

O n Indications of Contin ued Terrene Knowledge, <tc. 217 

" In an interview with Mr. Sprague the essential features of tliis strange 
story were C(jnfirmed. It is a significant departure from, the routine ghost 
story that all tlie persons connected witli this case are unconnected with any 
Spiritualistic organisation, are of well-balanced mind, thoughtful, and 
sceptical on all sensational matters. Mr. Reeves is not only a man in the 
prime of life, of temperate habits, and in good health, but he is also a person 
of strong nerve, a man of the world, a Master Mason, and the last person in 
tlie world to be scared by a ghost or a mediumistic imposition." 

Mr. Reeves confirms this account in a letter to Dr. Hodgson as follows : — 

San Francisco, September 15th, 1890. 

Richard Hodgson, Esq. 

Dear Sir, —With reference to your favour of 5th inst., just received, the 
full particulars were given in city papers ; some things not just exactly as 
stated, especially the word "flabbergasted," which is foreign to me. 

Apart from what you read, there is nothing more to be given. — With 
best wishes, yours very truly, 

H. E. Reeves. 

We have received the following independent and corroborative 
account from Mr. Sprague : — 

Goldwin S. Sprague. 

Grand Forks, Dak., November 29th, 1890. 

Mr. Ricliard Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Your communication was received some time ago, but I have 
been greatly pressed for time and unable to answer. 

You probably know all about Mr. Russell's death and connection with 
St. Luke's Church, so I shall only give you the facts as they came to 
my knowledge. 

On Friday noon, August 22nd, a young lady friend of the Russells came- 
to my brother-in-law's (Mr. Davis's) house and asked to see Mr. Davis. As 
Mr. Davis was out, his wife (my sister) saw this young lady. I was not 
j)resent at the interview, but my sister told me shortly afterwards the facts 
of Mr. Russell's death, &c. , and said that 'this young lady had come to ask 
Mr. Davis if the church choir would be willing to sing at Mr. Russell's 
funeral, as Mr. R.'s family were of limited means and could not afford to 
pay the choir. 

As I was going to Mr. Reeves' house that afternoon my sister asked me 
to tell Mr. Reeves about Russell's death and ask liim about the singing. I 
called at 1,221, California-street, about 3 [three] o'clock that afternoon, and 
liad been in tlie parlour some 20 [twenty] minutes talking with Miss 
Kavanagh (Mr. Reeves' niece), when ws heard Mr. Reeves' exclamation on 
the stairs, and I followed Miss Kavanagh to see what the trouble was. We 
found Mr. R. sitting ou the stairs in his shirt sleeves and evidently very 
much frightened. Miss K. brought him a glass of wine, also a glass of water,. 
l)ut I think he did not touch either. After a couple of minutes Mr. R. went 
up to his room, and Miss Kavanagh asked me to go up and see if he was all 
right, as she was afraid to go. I went up and found Mr. Reeves sitting down 
on a chair near the window with his legs crossed. He had no coat or vest, 
collar or necktie on, and the perspiratic^n seemed to roll off him. He seemed 



Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

greatly agitated, but in a few minutes he told me his story and I left him. 
In ahout 5 [five] minutes he came downstairs and began to talk about it, and 
continually said, " It is the strangest thing ; I can't understand it." 

GoLDWiN S. Speague. 

The next two cases are so grotesque that I have been tempted to 
suppress them. But it is not my business to apologise for the forms 
which supernormal phenomena happen to take ; and the amount of 
evidence in each case seems enough to make it my duty to allow my 
readers to foi m their own ojiinion. 

The principal percipient in the case which here follows is known to 
me, and is a sensible witness, and much in earnest as to the reality of 
this her unique supernormal experience. 

G. 211. 

Written out l^y F. W. H. M., December 22nd, 1888, from notes taken 
during an interview with Mrs. Davies the same day ; revised and signed 
by Mrs. Davies. 

About 20 years ago I was living with my mother and brother at Islington. 
Near us lived a family whose name is not important to the narrative. One 
of their daughters married a Mr. J. W., who went to India. Mrs. J. W. 
•continued living at her father's liouse. Her father, however, changed his 
residence, and as Mr. J. W.'s address in India was not known at the time, 
Mrs. J. W. could not inform liim of the change (.)f address. The house where 
she was living with her fatlier when her husl^and left home passed to a family 
whom I will call Brown, with whom I was acquainted, as I also was with Mrs. 
J. W. and her family. 

One evening I paid a visit to Mrs. Brown, and she gave me an Indian 
letter which had arrived for Mrs. J. W. at the house now occupied by the 
Browns. Mrs. Brown asked me to transmit this letter to Mrs. J. W. tlirough 
my brother, who frequently saw a brother of Mrs. J. W.'s. There had thus 
been some little delay, and perhaps slackness, in getting the letter sent on to 
Mrs. J. W. I promised to give it to my brother, and took it home. It was 
a dirty looking letter, addressed in an uneducated handwriting, and of ordinary 
bulk. I placed it on the chimney-piece in our sitting-room, and sat down 
alone. I expected my brother home in an hour or two. The letter, of course, 
in no way interested me. In a minute or two I heard a ticking on the 
chimney-piece, and it struck me that an old-fashioned watch which my motlier 
always had standing in her bedroom must have been brought downstairs. I 
went to the chimney-piece, but there was no watch or clock there or elsewhere 
in the room. The ticking, which was loud and sharp, seemed to proceed 
from the letter itself. Greatly surprised, I removed the letter and put it on 
a sideboard, and then in one or two other jjlaces ; but the ticking continued, 
proceeding undoubtedly from where the letter was each time. After an hour 
or so of this I could bear the tliinw no longer, and went out and sat in the 
hall to await my brother. Wlien he canie in I simply took him into the sitting- 
room and asked liim if he heard anything. He said at once, " I hear a watch 
or clock ticking." There was no watch or clock, as I have said, in the room. 
He went to where the letter was and exclaimed, " Why the letter is ticking." 
We then listened to it togetlier, moved it about, and satisfied oui'selves that 

On Indications of Gontinned Terrene Knowledge, <L-c. 219 

the ticking proceeded from the letter, which, however, plainly contained 
nothing but a sheet of paper. The impression which the ticking made was 
that of an urgent call for attention. My brother took the letter to Mrs. J. W. 
either that night (it was very late) or next morning. On opening it, she 
found that her husband had suddenly died of sunstroke, and the letter was 
written by some servant or companion to inform her of his death. The 
ticking no doubt made my brother and myself hand on the letter more 
promptly than we might otherwise have done. 

I have never experienced any other hallucination of the senses. I once 
heard a strong push at the street-door at the minute (for I looked at my 
watch) that my father died at a distance ; but, though I went to the door at 
once and saw no one, I cannot, of course, be sure that some passer-by might 
not have pushed the door and got out of sight ; for the house was in a street 
with many passers. I have also lieard ticks before a death ; but these may 
very likely have been caused by the death-watch insect ; which certainly was 
not the case with the ticks which came from the letter. The incident of the 
letter made a deep impression on me. 

(Signed) Anna Davies. 

Mr. Davies, brother to Mrs. Davies (who married a gentleman of the 
.same name), gives his independent recollection as follows : — ■ 

64, Church-road, Southgate-road, N. 

February ISth, 1889. 

I am afraid my recollection of the details after so long a time has elapsed 
is rather limited and somewhat hazy, so that if my sister has expanded into 
details, and her version should slightly differ from mine, please consider that 
I bow to her superior memory, and accept her account as correct. The main, 
features of the incident are, however, as nearly as I can recollect, as follow : — 
One night, it must be nearly, if not quite, 30 years ago, I returned home 
between 10 and 11 o'clock, and my sister told me that she had brought home 
from the house of a friend of hers a letter from India, addressed to a 
Mrs. Walker, who had formerly lived at the house the letter was directed to, 
;ind being acquainted with Mrs. Walker (whose brother was an intimate 
friend of mine), I was asked to be the bearer of the letter to her. I found it 
on the mantel shelf, and my sister and myself heard very distinctly a clear 
ticking noise, as loud as, and similar to, tliat of a small clock, which we spent 
some time in trying to account for, and which we could so clearly trace to 
the vicinity of the letter that it seemed to proceed from tlie letter itself, but 
we could find nothing which would in any way account for what we heard. I 
delivered the letter to my friend the following day to hand to his sister, Mrs. 
Walker, and afterwards heard that it contained the news of the decease of 
her husband in India. I am not quite sure but almost so, that on hearing 
the mysterious noise we remarked on the probable contents of the letter, but 
we were certainly struck with the coincidence of the noise being heard whilst 
the letter was on the shelf (and apparently proceeding from it) and discon- 
tinuing on its removal. 

I have no means of fixing the date, or even the year, as Mrs. Walker and. 
her brother have both been dead for some years. 

L. A. Davies. 
Q 2 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

The next case is even more pei-plexing. 
G. 212. 

Wis., Septeinher 22nd, 1890. 

Prof. Will. James. 

A very unusual thing occurred to the writer and one other person — luy 

sister, Miss Mary Q. — at tlie city of , Wisconsin, on the 5th day of 

jSToveuiher, 1885, at 10 o'clock p.m. 

Our mother, Mrs. Mary Margaret Q. K., died at our liome, in said city of 

, Wisconsin, on the above date, at 8.40 p.m. , very suddenly, of pneumonia. 

Oiir ynungest half-brother, Robert B. E., was working at S , N. Dakota, 

at that time, about TOO miles distant from , Wisconsin. At 9.45 we 

retired to the guests' chamber, a room over tlie south parlour, and about the 
Sam; dimensions as said parlour, having two windows to the south and one to 
the east. There were tv.'o beds in this large room, and I lay on one and my 
sister on the other, trying to compose our broken liearts, for we loved our 
mother very dearly. The night was cold and the windows were all closed, 
except the east was down at the top a few inches, when, lo I we both dis- 
tinctly heard at the same instant my brother, Robert B. R., singing, "We 
had better liide a wee," in a clear, deep tenor, accompanied by a high- 
jjitched soprano and an old-fashioned small melodeon accompaniment, and it 
sounded as tliough they were up on a level with our windows, about 15 feet 
from the ground ; and I arose and threw up the south-west window, from 
whence the sounds seemed to proceed, and then they — the singing— moved 
to the next, or south-east, window, and sang another verse. And I threw 
tliat up and saw nothing, but still distinctly heard the words as well as the 
music, and m round to the east window, where they sang the last verse, and 
then the music seemed to float away to the north. But the queer part of 
this occurrence is the fact that at the very time that we heard my brother 

singing in , Wisconsin, he icas singing the same song before an audience, 

with the identical accompaniment, an old, tiny melodeon, and a high-pitclied 
soprano young lady — a Miss E. , of North Dakota — as we learned two day.* 
afterwards, when he came home in response to our telegram announcing the 
death of our mother. 

Any verification of the above facts will be cheerfully made. 

(Signed) [Miss Q.] 

, Wis., October nth, 1890. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of the 6th inst. was duly received, and in replj'' 
to your request for corroborative testimony relative to the ' ' phenomenal 
occurrence" on the night of November 5th, 1885, at Janesville, Rock Co., 
Wisconsin — that is, the hearing music ;ind two human voices, and the words 
distinctly audible — one voice perfectively familiar to us as that of our lialf- 
brother, Robert B. R., then of N. Dakota, and the other voice that of a 
strange lady — soijrano, and they, my said brother R. B. R., and Miss Sarali 
JE., of N. Dak., were singing that sone song, "We Iiad better bide a wee," 

at an entertainment given by a church society of S , a j^rinted pi-o- 

gramme of which my brother afterwards sent to us : — 

I am an exceedingly busy person, but a lover of the truth, and interested 
in tlie progress of the race ; but my sister. Miss Mary Q., cf tliis city, is 

On. Indications of Continued Terrene Knmvledge, d:c. 221 

very conservative and proud, and when I asked her for an affidavit of her 
experience on that eventful 5th of November, 1885, she rephed, " I do not 
wish the workl to think nie or you a ' crank ' or Spiritualist, and do not 
wish our names published." I will add that my sister, who is blind, is 
rery intuitive and clairvoyant, and there is much in her experience to deeply 
interest the psychical student. It seems to me that the loss of her sight has 
been comj)ensated by another sense — a super-intuition. 

I have written to my brother, R. B. R., to reply to your request and 

also to obtain a programme of the church entertainment at S , N . Dak . , on 

November 5th, 1885, at which lie and Miss Sarah E. sang " We had better 
bide a wee," and also to state the exact hour when they were called in tlie 
programme, for as Robert stated to us when lie arrived on that sad occasion 
— the death of our good mother— he informed vis that the telegram was 
brought to him, and was lidd by tlie operator so as not to spoil the entertain- 
ment by telling him before he sang, and we — my sister Mary Q. and I — both 
lieard every note and word of that song sung about seven hundred (700) 
miles away, while our mother's remains were in tlie parlour under our 
bedroom . — Cordially yours, 

(Signed) [Miss Q.] 

Miss Mary Q. 

, Wis., November lof],, 1890. 

Richard Hodgson, Esq. 

Dear Sir, — [In reply to] your kind note of inquiry, relative to my ex- 
jieriences on the night of November 5th, 1885, they were such as have been 
described by my sister [Miss Q. ], who is a lover of scientific research, and is 
not so timid as I and my brother ; the latter is very much opposed to either 
of us making known our experience on that night, and has urged me not to 
tell aiij'one of the occurrences of that eventful time, and he refuses to fur- 
nish the printed programme of the entertainment, at which he and INIiss E. 
were singing "We had better bide a wee," insisting that people will believe 
us all "luny" if we make known all the facts ; and so in deference to liis 
prejudices I must respectfully decline to make any further disclosures at 
present. — Respectfully yours, [Miss Maky Q.] 

Per Amanuensis. 

December IWi. — A letter of inquiry sent to Mr. Robert B. "R.," and an 
envelope, with official stamp of our Society on the cover, has been returned 
to ine, unopened, by Mr. Robert B. "R.," so that further corroboration is 
lacking, at least for the present. — R.H. 

It will be observed that Miss Mary Q.'s letter is vii'tually a confir- 
mation of Miss Q.'s account ; and that Mr. Q.'s action is in harmony 
with his sisters belief that he cannot deny, l)ut does not Avisli to 
confirm, the truth of tliis singular narrativ e. 

Are we in this case to assume any agencj' on the part of the deceased 
mother ? Was her mind conscious of the scene at the concert-room, 
and did she transfer it to her daughters ? Or did they become clair- 
voyantly aware of it 1 Or was it flashed upon them from the mind of 
the telegraph operator, who w^as the only living person who both knew 
of the death and heard the song ? If we are to press the details of the 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

story, we might say that the long continuance, and apjjarently shifting 
position, of the phantasmal music indicated not so much an involuntary 
flashing of the scene upon the daughters' minds as a deliberate effort to 
attract their attention. 

Let us pass on to inquire whether the phantom ever shows knowledge 
of events in an eai'thly friend's life not connected with the decedent's 
own death. Such cases, as already remai'ked, {Proceedings, Vol. VI.,. 
32,) are very rare. Here is one where the decedent, who had been 
strongly intercisted in an event which was closely approaching when he 
died, seems to choose the occasion of that event to manifest his- 
continued interest in the friend whom the little crisis — a theatrical 
pei'formance — closely concerned. It is at least not easy to see any other 
exijlanation of the fact that a moment of the percipient's eager excite- 
ment about a quite different matter was also the moment when the 
phantom took shape l)efoi-e her eyes. 

G. 195. Transitional. 

The following account of an apparition two days after the death of the- 
person seen was written down by me from the verbal account of the per- 
cipient, Miss J., and corrected and signed by lier : — 

Angud 4f/(., 1890. 

On the evening (jf Saturday, April 26tli, 1890, I was engaged with my 
.sister and other friends in giving an amateiu- performance of the Antigone, at 
the Westminster Town Hall. 

A passage led down to several dressing-rooius used by tlie ladies who 
were taking part in the representation, and nowhere else. None of the 
public had any business down this passage ; altliough a friend came to tlie 
door of the dressing-room once to speak to some of us. 

I was passing from one dressing-room to another, a few steps further 
along the passage, just before going on to the stage, when I saw in the 
passage, leaning against tlie door-post of the dressing-room which I left, a 
Mr. H., wliom I had met only twice, but whom I knew well by sight, and as 
an acquaintance, thougli I liad heard Jiothing of liim for two years. I lield 
out my hand to him, saying, " Oh, Mr. H., I am so ghid to see you." In the 
excitement of the moment it did not occur to me as odd that he should have 
come thus to the door of tlie dressing-room,— altliough this would have been 
an unlikely thing for a mere acquaintance to do. Thei-e was a brilliant light, 
and I did not feel tlie slightest doubt as to his identity. He was a tall, sin- 
gular-looking man, and used to wear a frock-coat buttoned unusually high 
roiuid the throat. I just ol)served tliis coat, but noticed nothing else al)out 
him sj)ecially excejit liis face. He was looking at me with a sad expres.sion . 
When I held out my hand he did not take it, but shook his head slowly, witli- 
ont a word, and walked away down the passage — back to the entrance. I did 
not stop to look at him, or to think over tliis strange conduct, being in ;i 
great hurry to finish dressing in time. 

Next day, as a number of us were talking over the performance, my sister 
called out to me, " You will l)e sorry to hear that Mr. H. is dead." "Surely 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledgc, (ice. 223 

not," I exclaimed, " for I saw him last night at the Antigone." It turned 
out that he had been dead two days when I saw the figure. 

I have never experienced any other hallucination of the senses. 

Miss .J.'s sister. Lady M., writes : — 

Aagud Mh, 1890. 

The day after the performance of the Antigone I heard unexpectedly that 
Mr. H. was dead (I had not known that he was ill), and I mentioned the fact 
to my sister, at a party. She seemed greatly astonished, and said that she 
had seen him at tlie Antigone the night before. Mr. H. had only met my 
sister twice ; but I happened to know, from a conversation which I had witli 
him, that he had been greatly interested in her. An announcement of the 
performance of the Antigone was found in a small box of papers which he had 
with him at his death. 

I think it most unlikely that there should have been any mistake of iden- 
tity, as the passage where the figure was seen led only to the dressing-rooms. 
But in order to satisfy myself on tliis point, I sent an account of the occur- 
rence to the papers. It was widely copied, and I received letters on the 
subject. If the figure had been some living man, I think that the fact would 
probably have come out. Mr. H.'s appearance was very peculiar. 

Mr. W. S. Lilly, the well-known Roman Catholic author, corroborates as 
follows : — 

August Ath, 1890. 

I was present at a party when Lady M. suddenly informed her sister, 
Miss J., of the death of Mr. H. I can bear witness to Miss J.'s extreme 
astonishment, and her exclan\ati(jn, " Why, I saw him last niglit at the 

We Iiave referred to the Times, where the death of Mr. H. is announced 
as having taken place on Aj^ril 24t]i, 1890. 

The account spoken of by Lady M. was sent to the papers within a week 
of the occurrence. 

But the paucity of ajiparitions of dead persons at moments when 
events which would have interested those dead persons are happening- 
is noticeable on any view of the phenomena. Those who hold that 
such apparitions are always purely subjective, and mainly due to 
excited expectancy, would look for a special crop of tliem at these 
emotional moments. And on the other hand those who hold that the 
dead are really engaged in watching over the living would anticipate 
more frequent indications of their guardianship and care. I am dis- 
posed to think that the objection to publicity which stifles so many 
of our best narratives operates here with more than usual strength. 
For instance, the experience given in Proceedings, VI., p. 26, is one 
which many informants less concerned that truth should be known 
would have entirely suppressed. Another case privately told to me by 
one of the percipients, where an apparition seen by both persons 
present averted a deed of violence, will certainly never see the light. 


Mr. F. W. II. Myers. 

In the Journal for January, 1891, Ave have printed a case where a 
■deceased mother is seen, as though floating in the church, at the moment 
of her son's confirmation. The percipient, however, had been well 
acquainted with the deceased lady's aspect, so that there is here no 
evidence of external agency, except the fact that tlie percipient liad 
had other similar expeiiences, of which some at least, if not all, seem 
■certainly to have been veridical. 

And here we approach the question of so-called " spirit guardian- 
shij)," — the question whether a departed sjiirit may continue habitually 
in some sense in the neighboui-hood of a friend still on earth. Like all 
the more attractive hypotheses throughout our range of inquiry, this 
hypothesis has suflfered from the amount of had evidence adduced to 
support it. It is the favourite commonplace of the fraudulent "clair- 
voyant medium"; and, apart from conscious fraud, it is the response 
which most often presents itself as the mere reflection of the bereaved 
person's desire. But worthless evidence does not disprove a theory, 
any more than it proves it; nor need it greatly surpi'ise us if that 
impalpable telepathic connection Avhich sometimes seems to be long 
maintained between two living persons were to persist after the 
removal of one of them by bodily death. Especially where the decedent 
has telepathically affected his friend at the hour of death shall we look 
with interest for any account of a similar influence posthiunously 
exercised. In this connection the following case deserves record. The 
writer, Princess di Cristoforo, who is personally known to me, is the 
wife of Colonel Wickham, of 7, Comeragh-road, W. ; but is of Greek 
and Maltese descent. The names given to the decedents ai-e not the 
i-eal ones. 

L. 854. A<l Ps 

On the evening of March IStli, 1879, I was dressing myself to go to a 
dinner party at Admiralty House, Vittoriosa, Malta. I had accepted Admiral 

and Mrs. 's invitation, much against my will, as a dear friend was lying 

seriously ill at Brighton. However, the latest accounts had been so cheering 
and hopeful that I had allowed myself to he persuaded by niy husband into 
going. An eerie feeling was creeping over me in an unaccountable manner, 
but I tried to throw it off and succeeded in doing so to a certain extent ; 
.still, something made me turn my head round and stare into my liusband's 
dressing-room, which opened into mine. I distinctly saw a hand waving 
backwards and forwards twice. I rushed into the room — it was emjjty. 
Soon afterward, my husband came upstairs, and I told liini what I had seen, 
but he put it down to "nerves." As we crossed the water the cool night 
air seemed to revive me and I began to laugh at myself for letting my 
imagination play such tricks. Arrived at the Admiral's, the same weird feel- 
ing, that something was near me, crej^t over me again. I felt sure that if I 
were to turn round I should see something. All through dinner this idea 
xemained fixed in my mind — and my liost, by whom I was seated, teased me 

On Indications of Contimted Terrene Knoivledge, &€. 225 

about my preoccupation and. want of appetite. I was glad when we came 
away; had the horrible tension continued much longer I must have screamed, 
I think. It was only by the most powerful elfort I could assume the sem- 
blance of composure. We got liome, somehow, and I dragged myself upstairs 
to my room, and commenced undressing. Whilst taking down my hair I 
distinctly felt a hand pass over my head and neck as if someone was assisting 
me. I told my husband — to be again laughed at. I knelt to say my prayers. 
Instead of praying (as I had been used to do) for God to make my friend 
well, I, without any will of my own, prayed tliat he might be taken out of 
his niiseiy. I went to bed. Something came and lay beside me. I clung to 
my husband, Avho tried to calm me, assuring me there was nothing there to 
hurt or frighten me. A cold mouth seemed to freeze on my cheek, and I 
distinctly heard, "Good-bye, Sis, good-bye," in my friend's well-knovvn 
voice. Still my husband declared he could hear nothing. I said, " I am sure 
Mr. Abbott is dead.'' My husband said I was hysterical and over-wrought, 
drew me towards him and held my hand till I fell aslee^J— for I suppose it 
was a dream and not a vision I had. Be this as it niay, I saw my friend 
come into my room ; a livid mark was across his face. He was dressed 
in a night-shirt, and his feet were bare. He came and sat beside me — 
told me he was dead — that he had left me some money, and before he died 
had wished to make some alteration in his bequest, but the end had come so 
soon, he had not time to do so. He repeated his "Good-bye," kissed me, 
and disappeared. 

I told my husband of my dream and marked the date. Five days after- 
wards a letter with a deep black border came to me from my friend's brother, 
telling me his brother had passed away at 10 o'clock, March 13th. Allowing 
for the difference of time, Mr. Abbott must have come to me either just 
before or just after his death. The legacy left me was as he had stated, 
also the fact that he had intended to make a change as regarded it, but though 
the lawyer was sent for, he came too late. 

August, 1890. 

Colonel Wickham corroborates as follows : — 

Certified to truth of above facts. — G. H. Wickham (Lieut. -Colonel 
late R.A.). 

L. 855. M Pn Collective. Visual. 

A friend of mine, an officer in the Gordon Highlanders, was severely 
wounded in the knee at Tel-el-Kebir. 

His mother was a great friend of mine, and when the CaftJiage hospital 
ship brought him to Malta she sent me on board to see him and make 
arrangements for bringing him on shore. When I got on board I was told 
his was one of the worst cases there. So badly was my poor friend wounded 
that it was not considered safe to send him to the Military Hospital, and lie, 
together with an officer of the Black Watch, was admitted to the naval one. 
By dint of much entreaty, his mother and I were allowed to go there and 
nurse him. The poor fellow was very ill, and as the doctors considered he 
would die if an operation was performed, they did not amputate his leg, 
which was tlie only tiling that could give him a chance of life. His leg 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

mortified, but the parts sloughed away, and as he still lingered on, some- 
times better, sometimes worse, the doctors began to think he might, perhaps, 
recover to a certain degree, though he would be lame for life, and must 
eventually die of decline. For nearly three montlis and a half he lay on his 
bed of ag.)ny. About a month before his death the head doctor said that 
tlie presence of a lady always near him excited him and retarded his 
recovery, so I went away to my home on the other side of tlie harbour, going 
over frequently to see his mother and learn from her how he was. As he 
Avould never take food or medicine, excepting from me, I was troubled to 
think what tlie poor boy might do. At last the doctor sent for me, begging; 
me to go back, as he was literally dying of starvation, refusing to take food or 
medicine until I returned. When I went to him he put out his hand to me 
and said : ' ' Tliey have let you come back to me now that it is too late. I've 
eaten nothing." He lingered about a fortnight after this, and a few days, 
before the end I pinned the Order of tlie Osmanli on the front of the poor 
dying bo.y's night-shirt. It was very cold, and the hospital draughty, my 
lungs were delicate, and I got a fearful cough and kind of fever from the 
impure air of the room, for I sat in an armchair by liis Ijed all niglit, as he 
slejjt better holding my hand. 

One night, January 4th, 1886, no immediate change Ijeing apprehended, 
his mother made me go home to have a night's rest, as I was by this time 
very ill indeed, not being strong at the best (_>f times. He had l)een in a 
kind of lethargy for some hours, and as the doctor said he would probably 
.sleep, being under tlie effects of morphia, until the next morning, I con- 
sented to go, intending to return at daybreak, so that he should find mo 
there when he awoke. About tliree o'clock that night my eldest son, who 
was sleeping in my room, woke me with the cry of : " Mamma ! there is 
Mr. Blake !" I started up ! It was quite true. He floated through the room 
about half a f(jot from the floor, smiling at me as he disappeared through tlie 
window. He was in his night-dress, l)ut, strange to say, his foot, of which 
the toes had dropped ofl' from mortification, iwfs exadly like the other one. 
We (both my son and myself) noticed this. Half an hour afterwards a man 
came to tell me that Mr. Blake had died at 3 o'clock, and I must go to his 
mother, who had sent for me. She told me that he had been half conscious just 
before he died, and was feeling about for my liand, after pressing hers and 
that of his soldier-servant who had remained with him to the last. I have 
never forgiven myself for going home that night. 

The wi'iter's son, who was, as she informs us, nine years old at 
the time of the occurrence, signs the account as follows : — - 
I certify to the .ibove fact. — Edmund Wickhaji. 

G. 040. Collective. Visual and tactile. 

Aug>ist, 1890. 

In tlie summer of 1886 I was living at Stuttgart, having taken my family 
there for educational reasons. We were all seated at the tea-table, talking 
and laughing, when I felt an extraordinary sensation as if someone was 
leaning heavily on my shoulders. I tried to turn round but literally coiddn't 
do so. My head was stroked, and my cup, which was full, was lifted up, and 
put down half emjity. Looking across the table I found my daughter's eyes 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, dr. 227 

fixed, and staring with a scared look in them I never wish to see again, at 
the back of where I sat. I said nothing at the time, but when we were- 
alone together in the drawing-room I asked L. what had made her stare at, or 
rather beyond, me so. 

' ' I saw Mr. Abbott and Mr. Blake standing, one on either side of you ; 
they had one of their hands on each of your shoulders, and they changed 
places once," replied L. 

"How were they dressed ? " I asked. 

" Mr. Abbott was in his grey suit ; Mr. Blake in Highland uniform." 
" Did either of them drink out of my cup ?" I asked. 
• ' I don't know. My head was fixed as if in a photographer's rest, and I 
could not take my eyes ofi" their faces." 
" Were they sad-looking ? " 

" No ! They were both smiling down at you. I could not see lower than 
their waists clearly ; there seemed to be a kind of liaze, but their faces were 
quite clear." 

Both these young men had appeared to me previously- -at the time of 
their deaths. [See two previous accounts.] They were much attached to 
me, and very fond of my little daughter. When first meeting these two men 
they buth told me they had seen me before — that I was in the habit of sitting 
in a chair by their bedside and staring at tliem. 

Miss Wickham has given to me, vei'bally and in writing, a com- 
pletely concordant account. 

The Princess di Cristoforo believes that the same two figures have 
^ince been described to her by a clairvoyante. 

If the departed thus watch their friends on earth, it is possible that 
they may acquire some retrospective or ^prospective insight into the 
events of those friends' lives. They may, for instance, discern the 
approach of death before that prognosis is clear to an earthly i^thysiciau. 
A narrative of this type reaches us from America. 

G. 213 

Junuanj 28th, 1891. 
About eleven years ago I was much distressed owing to tlie illness of my 
wife, who suffered from cancer in tlie stomach. I heard about a medium, 
Miss Susie Nickerson White, who was said to have given some remarkable 
tests, and I called on her as a stranger and requested a sitting. My wife's 
sister purported to " control," giving her name, Maria, and mentioning facts, 
about my family which were correct. She also caUed my wife by her name, 
Ehza Aime, described her sickness, and said that she would pass over, hut 
not for some months. I said, " What do you call this ? Is it psychoh^gy, or 
mesmerism, or what ? " Maria said, " I knew you were going to ask that ; 
I saw it in your mind." I said, "Do you get aU the things out of my 
mind?" She replied, "No. I'll tell you some things that are not in your 
mind. Within three days Eliza Anne will say that she lias seen me and 
mother, too, if I can get mother to come along." (My wife's mother had died 


Mr. F. W. H. Muers. 

aboixt f(3rfcy-five years pre^'ioiisly, and my wife's sister had been dead from 
six to eight years.) 

I kept these circumstances to myself, but within thi'ee days the nurse 
who was in attendance upon my wife came running to me and said that my 
wife was worse, and was going out of her mind ; that slie had called \i]}on 
Maria and mother, and had sjorung out of bed and ran towards the door, 
crying, " Stop, Maria ! Stop, motlier 1 Don't go yet !" 

I soon consulted Miss White again, and Maria again purported to control, 
My wife had l:)een unable iov some days to retain any food in her stomach, 
could not keep even water or milk, and was very weak and also unable to 

Maria told me to give her some hot, very strong coffee, with jjlenty of 
cream and sugar and some cream toast. This prescription amazed me, but it 
was prepared. My wife ate and drank with relish, and slept soundly after- 
wards. She lived upon this food for some days, but gradually became unable 
even to take this. 

I consulted Miss White again, and Maria told me to get some limes, and 
to give my wife some pure juice of the lime several times a day ; she said 
that this would give her an appetite and enable her to retain food. The 
prescrijjtion was a success ; but gra.dually my wife failed, and I consulted 
Miss White again, and asked Maria how long my wife would continue to 
suffer. She said she could not tell exactly when she would pass away, but 
would give me a warning — ' ' Tlie next time she says she has seen me, 
don't leave her afterwards." 

Some days later, as I was relieving the nurse about three or four in the 
morning, the nurse said, " Mammie " (meaning my wife) "says she has seen 
Maria again." In a few minutes my wife said, "I must go." And she 

(Signed) E. Paige, Mary A. Paige. 

[Formerly Mary A. Dockerty, the nurse.] 
[I have had long interviews with Mr. Paige. He seems to be a shrewd 
and careful witness. — Richard Hodgson.] 

To this may be added a French incident, — carefully observed, but in 
itself not conclusive e^'idence for move than telepathy between living- 

G. 214. 

In Annales P.-ii/cluquia, Pait II. (Marcli-April, 1891), p. 98, a case is given 
which presents some analogy to these. The case is a recent one, aird it 
occurred among the immediate friends of M. Richet ; but, as Avill be seen, the 
apparitions were very indistinct. There was a coincidence of two dreams or 
" borderland " impressions, as follows : — 

1. Soeur Marthe, attending on tlie dying M. Bastian, dreams v/ith great 
vividness that an unrecognised female figure, with the voice of Mme. Bastian, 
dead some eight months previously, approaclies the bedside of Cecile, daughter 
of Mme. B. (asleep in tlie same room with Sceur Marthe), takes her hand, and 
says, " Elle est gentille, Cecile." 

2. 0]i the same night, and at uhuid the same time, Mme. M. Houdaille, 
daugliter of M. Bastian, lying in bed between sleep and waking, saw a white 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, &c. 229 

figure standing beside her bed, which so alarmed her that she shrieked aloud. 
Her brother, alarmed by the shriek, rushed into her room and found her -witli 
a terrified expression. 

These dreams or impressions were independently noted. 

They occurred March Gth, 1891. M. Bastian died March 13th. 

On the analogy of the cases given above, it is conceivable that the figure 
represented Mme. Bastian, aiid that its appearance was induced by the 
approaching end of M. Bastian. 

This view, however, is obviously incapable of proof in this case. 

Two other Ameiican cases may be added to this small group. 
G. 215. 

From Mrs. Wilson, through Prof. W. C. Crosby, Associate memljer^ 

Mrs. Caroline Rogers, 72 years old, a -widow who had been twice married, 
and whose first husband, a Mr. Tisdale, died al^out 35 years ago, lias lived on 
Ashland-street, in Roslindale, Mass., for the hist 25 years ; and since the 
death of her last child, some years ago, she has lived quite alone. Early in 
March of this year she was stricken with paralysis, and after an illness of 
nearly six weeks died on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 15th. 

Mrs. Mary Wilson, a professional nurse, forty-five years old, attended Mrs. 
Rogers during lier illness, remaining with her almost constantly until she 
died. She liad never seen Mrs. Rogers before the latter's illness, and knew 
nothing of her family or history. Mrs. Rogers sj^oke frequently to Mrs. 
Wilson, and also to others, as had long been her custom, of her second 
husband, Mr. Rogers, and her children, expressing a desire to see them 
again, &c. 

On the afternoon of April 14th Mrs. Rogers became unconscious, and 
remained so all the time until her death twenty -four hours later. Mrs. Wilson 
sat up with her through the whole of Monday night. Mrs. Wilson's daughter 
Ida, twenty-five years old, kept her mother company, and a boy of ten or twelve 
years slept in an adjoining chamber, to be called in case of an emergency. 
These four were the only persons in the house. The outer doors were 
securely locked, the door leading from the sick chamber, on the second floor, 
into the hall was kept locked all the time, because it was near the foot of 
Mrs. Rogers' bed ; and entrance to the sick chamber was gained by passing- 
from the upper hall into the living-room liy a door which was locked that 
night, and thence tlirough the chamljer in which tlie boy slept ; the two 
chambers having been made to communicate by cutting a door through the 
back of a small closet. This door was diagonally facing the bed on which 
Mrs. Rogers lay. Mrs. Wilson rested on a settee placed at right angles to 
the head of Mrs. R.'s bed, so that when lying down her face was almost 
directly ojiposite this door and not more than ten or twelve feet from it. 
The lamp, wliich burned brightly all night, stood on a small table in the 
corner of the room directly opposite the door ; and Ida occupied a coucli 
against the wall and between the lamp and door. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 


-ti o 
.B o 

Mrs. Rogers. 




Doov into chamber in which 
l)oy.slept. It was in this room 

Ida Wilson. 


Table and 


Mrs. Wilson was pretty well worn out with her long vigil ; believing that 
Mrs. Rogers was dying, she was naturally very nervous and timid ; and having 
lieard Mrs. R. speak frequently of seeing her departed friends, etc., she had 
a feeling of expectancy and dread witli regard to supernatural visitations., while Jier daughter was asleep, and while she 
was resting on the settee, Init wide awake, slie happened to look toward tlie 
door into the adjoining chamber and saw a man standing exactly in the door- 
way, the door being kej^t open all the time. He was middle-sized, broad- 
shouldered, with shoulders thrown Ijack, had a florid complexion, reddish- 
Ijrown hair (bare headed) and beard, and wore a brown sack overcoat, which 
was unbuttoned. His expression was grave, neither stern nor jjleasant, and 
lie seemed to li:)ok straight at Mrs. Wilson, and then at Mrs. Rogers without 
moving. Mrs. Wilson supposed, of course, that it was a real man, and tried 
to think how he could have got int(j the liouse. Tlien, as he remained quite 
motionless, she began to realise that it was something uncanny, and becoming 
friglitened, turned her head away and called her daughter, wlio was still 
asleep on the couch, awakening her. On looking back at the door after an 
interval of a minute or two, the apparition liad disappeared ; both its coming 
and going were noiseless, and Mrs. Rogers remained perfectly quiet, and so 
far as could 1)e known entirely unconscious during this time. The chamber 
into which this door leads being quite dark, there was no opjiortunity to 
•observe whether or not the apjDarition was transparent. Mrs. Wilson shortly 
afterwards went into tliis chamber and tlie living-room, but did not examine 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, 231 

the lower part of the house until morning, when the doors were found 2)ro- 
perly locked and everything all right. 

In the morning Mrs. Rogers' niece, Mrs. Hildreth, who lives in the 
neighbourhood, and has known Mrs. R. and her family for many years, 
called at the house. Mrs. Wilson related her experience to her and asked if 
the apparition resembled Mr. Rogers, and Mrs. Hildreth replied emphatically 
that it did not. (All who knew Mr. Rogers are agreed on this point.) Their 
conversation was interrupted then, but when resumed later in the day Mrs. 
Hildreth said that Mrs. Wilson's description agreed exactly with Mr. Tisdale, 
Mrs. Rogers' first husband. Mrs. Rogers came to Roslindale after marrying 
Mr. Rogers, and Mrs. Hildreth is the only person in that vicinity who ever 
saw Mr. Tisdale ; and in Mrs. Rogers' house there is no portrait of him nor 
anything suggestive of his personal appearance. Mrs. Wilson is also very 
positive that the apparition was unlike anyone she ever knew. 

Mrs. Wilson has had similar experiences before, and at least one, which 
occurred when she was 18 years old, which appears to have been veridical. 

The foregoing account of my experience is correct in every particular. 

Mary Wilson. 

The foregoing is a full and accurate statement of Mrs. Wilson's experience 
as she related it to me on the morning of April 15th. 

F. E. Hildreth. 
June otli, 1890. 

Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Hildreth have both impressed me as being intelli- 
gent and perfectly honest and trutliful ; and I have no doubt that Mrs. 
Wilson's experience was real and substantially as she has described it. 
. W. O. Crosby. 

The next case was sent to us by Mrs. Reynolds, Millington House, 
Thehvall, Warrington. 

G. 221. Congleton, Cheshire. 

3Iarch 23rd, 1892. 

A friend of mine, named Mrs. Johnson, died in November, 1877; she had 
been confined just over a week. A few days before she died she said to me, 
"I am going to die," and asked me to take care of her baby, which I did 
. until it died three months after. The night before she died we were awakened 
between twelve and one o'clock by a noise like tapping at the window 
twice. My husband got up and went downstairs, but could see nothing. So 
we tried to settle to sleep again, when all of a sudden we were alarmed by 
our little boy, who was not quite two years old, calling out "Auntie," by 
■which name he used to call her, and pointing towards the fo<jt uf the bed, 
and there I saw her standing all in white. She died the next morning 
(Thvn-sday) between nine and ten. She appeared again a second time three 
months later ; it would be about midnight. My husband saw her standing 
by the fire. At first he thought it Avas I, until he turned round and saw I 
was in bed. We were very much frightened for a long time after. The 
baby died the next day about three o'clock in the afternoon (Thursday). 
They both died on the Thursday to the best of our knowledge. And it was 
on the Sunday when they were both buried. We can't recollect the exact day 


Mr. F. TF. H. Myers. 

of tlie mouth, as they had no cards printed for either. The mother died in 
November, 1877, the baby in February, 1878. This is as near a trua 
account as we can give, it being so long ago, nearly fifteen years since. 

Mary Jane Pedley. 

James Pedley. 

Mrs. Reynolds adds, under date March 24tli, 1892 :— 
Mr. Reynolds and I went to Congleton yesterday, and called upon Mr. 
and Mrs. Pedley. We heard the story from both. 

It seems that when Mrs. Pedley saw tlie apparition on its first appear- 
ance she screamed, and frightened her husband so much that he dared, 
not look. 

Tliere was a light in tlie room on both occasions. We saw the son who 
called out "Auntie " — a youth between 16 and 17 years of age. 

Mr. and Mrs. Pedley consent to the story being published, with name.? 
and address. — Believe me, yours sincerely, 

Edith Reynolds. 

He told me that he looked several times, and each time saw it standing- 
by the tire. Mrs. Johnson is stated to have been unconscious the night 
before she died. - . 

E. R. 

Mrs. Pedley subsequently procured for us the certificates of death which 
follow, and whicli show that each death occurred on a Thursday, as she had 

Annie Johnson died on the 1st of November, 1877, at Thomas-street, 
Congleton, aged 23 years. 

Elijah Johnson died on the 31st of January, 1878, at Thomas-street, 
Congleton, aged 14 weeks. 

Given this 24th March, 1892. 

W. Henry Carter, 
Deputy Superintendent Registrar. 


A point of difficulty which often meets us in estimating the know- 
ledge possessed by the departed is as follows : — 

Cases occur whei-e there is certainly some kind of coincidence, — say 
an apparition at the moment of death — but along with this coincidental 
apparition of a dying person there is an apparition or dream of some 
other person, already known as deceased. Suppose, for instance, that a 
mother loses her son at a distance ; and while that son is dying sees 
him in a dream accompanied by his long-dead fatlier. Here, consider- 
ing the symbolical character of the details in many of these veridical 
dreams, we have no right to assume that the father's figure is itself 
more than a symbol. On the other hand, it is, of course, conceivable 
that the father may be welcoming the son in some other world, and 
that both may bo able to appear together to the surviving wife and 

The case which follows is interesting, as showing that a monition of 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c, 233 

death which at first appears of simple type may in reality be based 
upon a background of symbolism involving the possible action of a 
deceased relative. 

A young German lady, whom I will call Fraulein A., known to me 
as governess in the house of friends, sent to me in January, 1892, a 
statement which I here tra,nslate. 

G. 216. 

"On November 23rcl, 1890, while I held my [previous] situation as 
governess at H., I was awakened at half -past six by a strong smell of death. 
Before awakening I had had a vision of the corpse of my brother Caid, who 
was at that time at Zurich. Alarmed by this strange dream, I sent a 
telegram to Zurich, in which I said that I would return home if my brother 
were dangerously Ul. [In a further letter Fraulein A. explains that 
November 23rd was a fSunday, and that her pupil's lessons prevented her 
from telegraphing till the afternoon of November 24th ; as she did not like 
t'j mention her wish to send a telegi'am merely because of a dream.] I 
received a telegraphic reply which advised me to remain where I was. Two 
days later I received from my relations the news of the death of my brother 
Carl, which had taken place at 6 a.m. on November 23rd, 1890." 

The date of the death is confirmed by a " Todtenschein " sent to 
Praulein A. from tlie Civilstandbeamte of the Civilstandskreis in which the 
death occurred. Fraulein A. has kindly presented us with this certificate. 

The fact of the receipt of Fraulein A. 's telegram is testified to by Fraulein 
Pauline Tobler, who writes as follows from Zurich, February 12th, 1892 : — 

The undersigned bears witness that between herself and Fraulein [A.], 
then in Helensburgh, on November 24th, 1890, at 6 p.m. a telegram and 
reply passed as follows: — "Wenn Carl gefiihrlich erkrankc, komm nach 
Hause. Antwort." " Conseille rester." Pauiine Tobler. 

We learn from the General Post Office, Edinburgh, tliat the forms of 
foreign telegrams are preserved for six montlis only. Nor has the Zurich 
post-oflice preserved a copy. We cannot, therefore, produce the original de- 
spatch. It is obvious, however, from Fraulein Tobler's evidence, that Fraulein 
A. telegraphed while unaware of her brother's death. Thus far, then, the case 
appeared to be a Avell-atbested dream of death, promptly acted upon, but 
with no unusual features. In conversation with Fraulein A. , however, I found 
that she regarded the incident in a difi'erent light ; as forming one of a 
series of instances in which her departed mother had informed her of events 
closely concerning her. One of these instances was too private for publica- 
tion ; the rest Fraulein A. records as follows : — 

" On May 31st, 1887, my dear mother died. I had mn-sed her during 
her illness ; and before her death I begged her to send me some intimation 
if anything of importance were to happen in our family. She promised me 
to do this, so far as might be possible to her. 

"In December, 1839, I left Switzerland, and went to London, and thence 
took a teiui^orary engagement as governess near Welwyn. In Februaiy, 
1890, my mother appeared to me in a dream. She held in her hand three 
small nosegays, each of them consisting of a bunch of green leaves and a 
primrose ; and signed to me to choose one of them. I stretched out my 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers, 

hand to the middle one. Bef(ji-e I had grasped it, the flower fell. My 
mother pointed to the fallen flower, and turned sadly away, Tlie dream 
impressed me strangely, as I had three brothers, of whom the middle one 
had been specially recommended to my care by my dying mother. I inquired 
at once after his health ; but he was ({uite well. 

"In the following June, 1890, I saw my mother again in a dream, as 
though on her deathbed. This dream was repeated. After the second 
dream I woke, and again slept and dreamt. Tliis time I saw my brother, 
already mentioned ; his cheeks red with fever. Alarmed by this dream I 
wrote home next day, but could hear of nothing unusual. I was reassured ; 
and dreamt no more until some months later I dreamt of my brother as dead. 
It was only after his death that I learnt that at the time when I dreamt of 
him as in a fever he actually had influenza. He recovered ; but died some 
months later from a second attack. 

"Tliese were the only dreanis which have ever left a deep and permanent 
impression upon me — the only dreams upon which I have ever acted." 

It is, of course, conceivable that the mother's figure seen in dream 
may have been merely a syml^olic form assumed hy a telepathic message 
from the still living l^rother. On the other hand, we have the mother's 
dying promise to bring just such messages, if possible, from her new 

In Fraulein A.'s case the intimations, as will have been observed, 
are ivordlessly conveyed, and so it is with the majoi'ity of these visions, 

1 I add in a note a cas3 where the apparition conveys information which leads to 
important results ; in the hope that the publication of the narrative, which is now 
obtainable only at second hand, may lead to the invprovement of the evidence. We 
have the real names ; the transmitter of the case, Mrs. Bodington, a medical jirac- 
titioner at Matsqui, British Cohmibia, and author of a book of lectures on Evolu- 
tion, is known to us by correspondence as a painstaking informant. 
G. 222. 

I was residing in the year 18G9 in the family of a retired naval officer and his 
wife, two miles from a seaport town. The wife, whom I will call Mrs. R., was what is 
usually understood as a highly domesticated person ; to the last degree unimaginative ; 
rarely opening a book, and indifferent to everything except household concerns and 
the care of her children. 

One afternoon, in the month of September, the conversation happened to turn 
tipon the subject of the often recorded appearances of dying persons to their friends 
at the moment of death. [After some talk] Mrs. R. and her husband looked at each 
other and seemed as if hesitating about speaking. After a pause, Mrs. R. said : " If 
you do not laugh at the very idea of the possible apjjearance of the dead, I should like 
to tell you of something that happened to myself. When I was engaged to my 
husband I was li\ ing with my brother, who was British Consul at Cadiz. [Captain 
R. was a widower ; his first Avife, with whom he had not lived happily, having died 
some eight months previously, leaving a young infant. Mrs. R. had never seen or- 
known the fii'st wife, and was not in England at the time of her death.] After our 
marriage we returned to E:igiand, and my husband's first care was to find tl;e nurse 
with whom his youngest child had been left. To his great grief, the woman had left 
P., and had removed to some other part of England, taking the baby with her. Soon 
after this vain search for the baby we went up to London, and took lodgings for a 
time. The bedroom in these lodgings was entered from the sitting-room, and there 
was no other means of getting in or out. One night I could not go to sleep ; the fire 

On Indications of Gojitimied Terrene Knowledge, &c, 235 

Sometimes, as in the narrative next to be cited, there is a record of 
prolonged speech, but in such cases, especially when few or no actual 
words are quoted, we can hardly be sure as to the degree of externali- 
sation which the voice assumes. The apparition here seems to have at 
least comprehended the percipient's inward situation, although it is not 
clear that any prediction requiring supernormal insight was actually 
made. I owe the narrative to the kindness of Mr. Morell Theoljald, 
who printed it first in Light for March 5th, 1892. It is written on an 
old piece of paper (sent to me) and marked " For Mr. B.'s private 
perusal." The histoiy of the paper is as follows ; — A Mr. C. (I must 
not give the names), well known to Mr. Theobald, and holding a good 
position in one of the Australian colonies, discovered it among the 
private papers of his uncle, Mr. B., who died twelve years ago. The 
apparition, as will be seen, occurred on October 24:th, 1860, and the 
account is endorsed November 9th by the percipient's father. Further 
particulars, sent to Mr. B. by the percipient, are dated November 13th, 
1860. The first accoui^t seems to have been sent l)y the percipient to 
his father, and by the father to Mr. B. 

The percipient has been identified, and confirms, as will be seen, 
this early narrative. It is interesting to find a contemporaneous record 
of a case of this now familiar type, written down at a time when less 
attention had been directed to these messages from departing or 
departed friends. 

was burning brightly in the sitting-room, and the door was partly open. I had a- 
consciousness that there was someone in the next room. I saw the door gently pushed 
back, and a beautiful lady came in, followed by a common looking woman, carry ing- 
a child about a year old, dressed in a yellow pelisse. The lady came up to the side of 
the bed, and said, pointing to the baby, ' This is Johnny ; you will remember 
Johnny.' She smiled at me, and I was just going to answer, when the whole vision 
was gone. I did not feel the least afraid, and I even turned to see where the 
beautiful lady with the child and nurse Iiad gone to. Then it suddenly struck me that 
these were not real i:)eople, and I woke my husband and described what I had seen. 
He said, ' I do not know what to think, but you have exactly described my first tuife." 
The lost child's name was Johnnie. Well, we tried to think the incident had been 
an ordinary dream, and some daj's elapsed, when we chanced to lose ourselves in 
returning from Westminster Abbey in one of the low streets of that neighbourhood. 
Suddenly I saw coming do^TO the street the common-looking woman I had seen in 
the vision, carrying the baby with the yellow pelisse. I said to my husband, ' That 
is the woman I saw. ' He warned me to be careful, and as the woman ai)proached, he 
said to her, 'That is a nice little boy you have got there.' 'Yes, sir,' she said, 'he 
is a nice little boy. But I wish I cculd find them as owns him. His father is an 
ofBoer in the navy, and I doubt whether his ship is back yet.' We made further 
inquiries, and we found the woman was really the one with whom my husband's wife's 
relations had placed the baby. We took the baby home, and he grew up and v/ent into 
the navy when he was old enough, and it is for him that I am now in mourning." 
This was the story as told by Mrs. R., and so great was the impression made upon my 
mind that I am certain of remembering all the details, if not always the precise 
words. But these words I do remember precisely, " This is Johnny ; you will remember 

Alice Bodingtox. 

R 2 ' , 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

G. 217. 

' ' On the evening of Wednesday, October 24th, 1860, having retired to bed 
about nine o'cIocIj:, I had slept, I conclude, about two hours, making it then 
about eleven o'clock p.m. I was awoke from my sleep by a hand touching 
my forehead, and the well-known voice of Mrs. B. pronouncing my name, E. 
I started up, and sat in bed, rubbed my eyes, and then saw Mrs. B. Froni 
the head to the waist the figure was distinct, clear, and well-defined : but 
from the waist downwards it was all misty and the lower part transparent. 
She appeared to be dressed in black silk. Her countenance was grave and 
rather sad, but not unhappy. 

"The words she first uttered were: 'I have left dear John'; what 
followed related entirely to myself, and slie was permitted by a most 
kind Providence to speak words of mercy, promise, and comfort, and 
assurance that what I most wished would come to pass. She came to me 
in an hour of bitter mental agony, and was sent as a messenger of mercy. 

"I would have spoken more to her, but tlie form faded, and in answer 
to an earnest apjjeal, a voice came to me which, though apparently hundreds 
of miles away, Avas distinct and clear, saying, ' Only believe, ' and she was 

" Througliout the interview I felt no fear, but an inward, heavenly 
peace. It was new moon, but the room was as light as day ! " 

Our next information consists of a statement of Mr. D. 's (so to term the 
percipient, a gentleman of position), written in reply to Mr. B.'s questions, 
November 13th, 1860 ; found (in Mr. B.'s handwriting) among Mr. B.'s 
papers, and now summarised for us by Mr. C. 

' ' Mr. D. had been asleep but could not say how long. Had not seen 
Mrs. B. for several months. Can't recollect what dress she had on then. 
Was not in l)ad health. Was alone in tlie house. The subject of his anxiety 
was not know-n to Mrs. B. nor connected witli her. The apparition seemed 
to wait for questions, and when put they were answered. The subject of 
the communication was one greatly influencing his thouglits and feelings, 
and had been deeply agitating him before he went to bed. It was not a 
religious matter ; but Scriptural language was used ; Mark xi. 23, 24 were 
quoted ; — a passage well known to the writer, and often dwelt u])on by him. 
The window faces north. Tlie night was wet and cloudy. The writer did 
not put it down at the time, believing it too real ever to be forgotten. He 
had not mentioned it to anyone but his father and Mrs. B. He saw the 
notice of the death for the first time on Saturday in the Observer. Resided 
about 10 miles from Gawler, which is 25 miles from Adelaide." 

Mr. C. has forwai-ded to us a ])rinted extract from the South Australian 
Mexjister of C)ctober 25th, 1860, which includes a notice of the death of Mrs. 
B. on October 24th, at Bank-street, Adelaide. The lioiur of the death is 
fixed by Mr. C.'s ownr recollection, depending on his own fixed habits 
at the time. He writes to Mr. Theobald, under date May 3rd, 1892 

" I was at that time a clerk in ray uncle's office, which was at his house in 
Bank-street, Adelaide ; but was staying just then at Glenelly. I left the 
office at 4 p.m. on the 23rd after saying good-bye to Mrs. B., leaving her in her 
visual state of health. She was taken ill about 11 p.m., and asked frequently 
for me, expressing a strong desire not to die before I arrived ; but when I 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, X-c. 237 

got to the house at the usual time, about 10 a.m., next morning, I was met 
witli the news that she had been dead about two hours." 

The death, therefore, had taken place more than twelve hours before the 
ajiparition was seen. 

Mr. D. makes a slight mistake in his original account, in saying that it 
was new moon, whereas the moon was then ten days old. But as it ■was a 
cloudy night, and his window faced north, the light by which the figure was 
seen was doubtless, as in so many of these cases, itself a part of the 

At Mr. Theobald's request Mr. C. communicated with Mr. D., who is 
still living ; and we have therefore the opportunity of comparing a thirty 
years' old recollection with the same person's contemporary statement. Tlio 
comparison shows that, — as I believe to be often tlie case, — the memory of 
the supernormal incident had not grown, but dwindled. 

Reminded in a general way, but without detail, of the occurrence, Mr. 
D. writes (in a letter seen by me), April 21st, 1892 : — 

"There was no conversation. She only said to me, ' E., I have left 
dear John.' I cannot remember whether it was wet or not; but as to the 
moon, it was not at all like that light. It Vv'as more like an electric light ; — 
a subdued brilliancy. . . . ' How long did the spirit remain in 
conversation with me 1 ' Certainly not more than 5 minutes, if so 
long. ... I sent the account to my father, who probably handed it to 
Mrs. B." 

Further reminded of his contemjjorary account, Mr. D. writes. May 1st, 
1892 : — " I appear to have spoken, but have no distinct recollection of doing 
so. What slie did say was entirely personal." It related to the removal of 
a painful misunderstanding with a friend. " So far as I know she had never 
seen, or even heard, of the friend alluded to." Mr. D. declines to give 
fiu-ther detail; but he still considers that the communication showed "a 
plenary knowledge " of facts personal to himself. His hesitation of memory 
seems to have been on the point whether the h'ope and consolation were 
conveyed by spoken words, or in some directer fashion. The confidence 
inspired by the message was, he tells us, justified by the result. 

The supposed conversation in this case may have been more dream- 
like than the percipient supposed. It may have taken place, so to say, 
in his own mind, without definite auditory externalisation. 

We may, indeed, expect to find various transitional forms between 
the visual phantom and the more strictly automatic message ; — between 
the hallucinatory image of the departed friend and the words uttered 
in trance, or given by writing or table-tilting, which claim to originate 
in his intelligence. The manifestations are fundamentally of the same 
ordei', but with this advantage on the part of the motor messages, that 
they employ a physical faculty of the automatist's which can be easily 
exercised for a long time continuously ; whereas the faculty needed 
to see or hear a phantasmal figure or voice seems liable to rapid 

I will conclude this paper, as I concluded my " Defence of 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

Phantasms of the Dead," in Vol. VI., with a group of messages of 
the motor type — messages given through automatic writing or other 
varieties of automatic movement. Such messages have perplexities of 
their own, — perplexities discvissed in other papers, and to which I can- 
not here return. But with all the doubts as to their true origin these 
written messages seem to me to form our most hopeful approach to the 
exact knowledge which we desire. A single form of o-epeatable ex2Kri- 
ment, — even if that experiment succeed but once in a thousand times, 
— is basis enough for generations of research. 

I will give three cases, presenting different points of interest. In 
the first we have a message containing a fact perhaps known to the de- 
ceased person from whom the message purpoi'ted to come ; and certainly 
not " consciously " — that is, supraliminally — known to the automatists 
who I'eceived it. If, however, we assume the existence of any sub- 
liminal clairvoyance on the part of those living persons, — or even, 
perhaps, of a degree of perspicacity exceeding that possessed by their 
normal selves, — we might explain the message as having originated in 
their own minds. 

In the second case we have a series of automatic messages, — some 
of them, perhaps, explicable on the liiies just now suggested ; some of 
them possibly to be explained by telepathy from living minds, some of 
them, on the other hand, at least ^;rt»i(? facie referable to the source in 
the mind of a departed person, from which they professed to come. 
Whether there are in reality so many different oi'igins of a series of 
messages given to one automatist, or wdiether any one explanation can 
be made to cover them all, is a matter to which Ave shall elsewhere have 
to return. 

The third case narrates the success of a direct experiment, — a test- 
message planned Ijefore death and cojnmunicated after death, by a man 
who held that the hope of an assurance of continued presence was worth 
at least a resolute effort, whatever its I'esult might be. 

G. 218. 

345, W. 34th-street, New York, October 3rd, 1888. 
Dr. Richard Hodgson. 

My Dear Sir, — Thinking tliat you may possibly be back from your 
vacation, I send you witli this the account of the finding of the note by Mrs. 
B. and the letter to me from Dr. Knorr. 

(Signed) W. D. Harden, 

Savannah, Ga., September 16th, 1888. 

Judge W. D. Harden, 

345, W. 34th-street, New York. 
Dear Friend, — This morning, when I paid a professional visit to Mrs. 
B.'s sick son, she showed me a rougli draught of tlie statement she intended 
to send to you. Fearing further delay from her intended re-writing repoz-t, I 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, d-c. 239 

begged her to let me have it. She consented, if I would explain to you the 
circumstances of the shortcomings of that draught. 

I think I need to add very little to Mrs. B.'s statements. You are 
acquainted with the modus operandi of the communications with the sliding 
rod, the rod and the alphabet board being at B.'s house, the same you saw at 
Miss Maggie R.'s. In order to facilitate your description for Dr. H. I send 
you a paper model of the rod and a printed alphabet (with other convenient 
inscriptions), that is to be pasted near the two (right and left) edges, leaving a 
space between of sufficient "width for the points of the rod to point out the 
desired letters. 

I have to remark that a couple of days after the death of Miss Nina B.'s 
Jiance (Mx. N. H.) I assisted her to get into communication with him. "We 
succeeded, Miss Nina turning out to be feebly mediumistic, and many com- 
munications were received from him. 

This attracted Major B.'s attention. He tried then with me (the major 
■was then an Agnostic), and found that he also was mediumistic, and he got 
communications from his father and his uncle that were so characteristic that 
he became convinced of the reality of spirit communion. So when the major 
departed, last spring or summer, he was well acquainted with the modus 
operandi of spirit communion ; and therefore the very day after his departure 
■we could receive a few words from him. Later on we received many messages 
from him. 

I think I was present at the seance when he stated that the note was 
deposited somewhere, but could not tell where. It looks as if at that time 
he had not yet discovered the whereabouts of the note, but continued hunting 
for it, and at last discovered it. 

I think I have touched upon every point that needed elucidation. 

. L. Knork, Savannah. 

Judge Harden. 

In compliance with your request I will state : After my honoured 
husband Major Lucius B.'s departure from this life, I was in distress of 
mind that none could understand but one sin-rounded by similar circum- 
stances. Of his business transactions I knew but little. After a week or 
two of stunning agony, I aroused myself to look into our financial condition. 
I was aware that he had in his keeping a note given by Judge H. W. 
Hopkms to some several hundred which was due, and I searched all the 
nooks and corners of his secretaire, manuscript, letters, memorandum-books, 
read several hundred letters ; but aU for naught. For two months I spent 
most of the time going over and over, but with the same result. I finally 
asked him at a seance about the note. 

Q. : " Have you deposited the note anywhere V A. : '' I have." 

Q. : " Where ? " No answer. 

Finally I wrote to Judge H. (who had written me about it) : "I had as 
•well tell you the note has not been found. I cannot imagine where it is." 
This was on Friday. The following Sunday, about four o'clock, my daughter 
Nina, who possesses some singular power, proposed we try if we could not 
get a communication from our loved ones. While she went to get a little 
arrangement (a rod that worked on a board upon which the letters of the 
alphabet were printed) I sat in my room alone, thinking, if it were possible 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

for Major B. to see the heart iilled to overflowing witli anguish, and added to 
this the mind distressed by business cares, would he not communicate with 
me and try to give some consolation or assistance. 

But I did not express my thoughts to anyone. Nina returned, and after 
a little conversation we put our hands on the rod and it prvmpthj spelt 
" Look in my long drawer and find Willie. " I became excited, ran to the 
bureau and pulled out the bottom drawer, turned the contents upon the 
floor, and commenced to search. Under all the things was a vest ; in its 
little breast pocket was the note. 

Major B. was in the habit of calling the bottom drawer, where only his 
under-garments were kejit, " My long drawer, " to designate it from several 
small drawers set aside for his use. The vest was the only garment, other . 
than underwear, in the drawer. The vest was the one taken off him when 
he first became ill. He was unconscious during the first day of his illness. 
The vest was put in the drawer after or during his illness by my friend, I 
think, who assisted in caring for him while sick. 

The drawer had not been opened that we knew of after he left us until 
the note was discovered. Although I had moved to another room, I gave 
instructions that the bottom drawer was not to be disturbed. 

As soon as the rod spelt " Look in my long drawer and find Willie" I 
was perfectly electrified with the knowledge that Willie H.'s note was 
in that drawer, although I never would have thought of looking in such a 
place for a valuable paper. 

Major B. and myself always spoke to and of Judge H. as "Willie," he 
being a relation of mine and a favourite of Major B. from Willie's childhoods 

I have just read the above to my davighter, and she says she will endorse 
the statement as being correct. — I am, very respectfully, 

(Signed) Mrs. E. F. B. B., widow of the 

late Major Lucius C. B. 
(Signed) N. H. B. 

Savannah, Ga., September l&h, 1888. 
The two signatures have been made in my presence, and I corroborate 
many of the facts and circumstances mentioned in the above report. I am 
now requested by the ladies to say that they do not wish their names to 
appear in public. (Signed) Louis Knorr, M.D. 

Savannah, October 27 fh, 1888. 

Judge W. D. Harden, 

345, W. 34th-street, New York. 
My Dear Friend, — The delay in answering yours of the 9th inst. was 
caused by Mrs. B., who sent me her answer only an hour ago, notwithstanding 
my having reminded her a dozen times. 

As you see from her statement, the exact date of tlie memorable seance 
cannot be given by her. But some coincidental occuri-ences, as you'll 
jn-esently see, will make it the 13th or the 20th of May last. It is certain 
that it was a Sunday, as Mrs. B. states, for I remember that, when I 
returned from Wilmington Island that Sunday, Mrs. K. told me that Miss 
Nina B. Iiad been here and had told her to inform me that something 
important had happened that afternoon, and she had pleasant news to com- 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoiuledge, d-c. 241 

municate to me. I guessed at once what it referred to ; for they had all along 
been so anxious to get some information about that note, and I was present 
at the several previous seances, when ineffectual attempts had been made to 
get that information. 

When I was conferring with Mrs. B. for the purpose of getting at the date, 
she at last remarked : " It was about a week or two after Miss Ida entered Dr. 
Nunn's service." I remembered that circumstance well, and thinking Miss 
Ida might help to get at the date, I called on her. She distinctly remembers 
the circumstances and thinks it was the second Sunday after. She told me 
that she commenced with Dr. N. on Monday, the 7th of May last ; then the 
following Sunday was the 13th and the second Sunday the 20th of May. I 
thought first that it would be possible to decide if it was the 13th or 20th 
by consulting the tide-tables — making that Sunday the correct one on which 
there was an afternoon flood tide. But on further consideration I see that 
would not be perfectly reliable ; for although I generally selected such 
Sundays for going down and coming uj) from the island on which there was a 
favourable (flood) tide, still I did not do so invariably, because the prevailing 
southerly winds in summer permitted sailing up to Thunderbolt even against 
the tide. So there is no means to decide whether it was on the 13th or the 
20th of May. 

I see Mrs. B. does not answer No. 2 of Dr. H.'s questions (date of 
sitting where question about the note was first asked) at all ; so I will do so as 
far as I can. It was about a week after Major B.'s demise that the question 
was put in my presence, and further at several subsequent seances at which I 
was present ; but no exact dates could be given, further than that it 
occurred, say, between the 6th of April and the 13th of May, on several 
occasions in my presence, and in the presence of Mrs. B., Miss Nina B., and 
sometimes of the youngest child (Lettie, eight or nine years). 

In answer to No. 5 of Dr. H.'s questions ("Is Mrs. B. certain that neither 
she nor her daughter put the vest away ? ") I have to state that I have the 
rejjeated assurance of both the ladies that they feel sure that they did not 
put the vest away, nor that they had the least suspicion that there could have 
been so valuable a paper in that vest-pocket, or else they would have 
hunted for the vest in that drawer, a)uong others where clothing might 
have been stowed away, and thus should have discovered what they hunted 

And as to question No. 4 (" Can aiiy more definite statement be obtained 
concerning the putting away of the vest '? ") I have to state that Mrs. B. and 
Miss B. always thought that their cousin (Miss Mel Thomas), who had with 
the most seK-sacrificing devotion nursed the major during his sickness and had 
the entire management of the sick room, had put it away. But on questioning 
her she said she had no recollection of so trifling an occurrence. 

In answer to question No. 6 (" Who were present ? ") Mrs. B. says, 
"Possibly one of the children." I have to ex^jlain this answer. She ought 
to have answered, " Possibly my youngest child, Lettie." For of her children, 
besides Miss Nina, it is only Lettie who has something to do with these 
seances — she being a far stronger medium than Mrs. B. or Miss B. — but at 
the same time does not feel the least interest in the matter ; on the contrary, 
hates to be called away from her dolls, puts her hands on the sliding-rod with 


Mr. F. If. H. Myers. 

a great deal of grumbling, and is always very glad to get off, the sooner the 

Miss Nina reported to me that that Sunday slie and her sister Lettie were 
first holding communication with their father and received some pleasant and 
convincing messages from their father ; then Lettie would not continue any 
longer. It was then tliat Miss N. called her mother to take Lettie's place, 
and the result was the getting of that message in regard to the note. So, you 
see, it may have been possible that Lettie had not left the room yet at the 

I have also to state tliat great precautions are taken against intruding 
spirits that may jDersonate (and on one occasion have done so, personating 
Willie Morrison, the young lawyer staying in Colonel Lester's office) and 
give us all kinds of lying messages. These jarecautions consist in a secret 
signal and a secret pass-Avord — the two being necessary, since at one time 
the intruders succeeded in getting hold of one ; but could not get hold of 
the otlier too, and thus were foiled. To make doubly sure, the two signs 
of recognition are changed frequently. — Yours truly, 

Louis Knorr. 
October 27th, 1888. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Li answer to your questions I will say : 1. Major B. died 
just at sunrise (Easter morning), first day of April, 1888. 2. I told all I know 
about 2:iutting away the vest. 3. About three o'clock, Sunday, the first or 
second week in May. Myself and daughter were the only ones present that I 
remember — possibly one of the children. It happened just as I stated. To 
me there is but one solution. — In great haste, very respectfully, 

(Signed) E. F. B. 

The next case is from a gentleman whose name cannot at present be 
given in full. 

G. 219. 

Dr. Richard Hodgson. N.Y., Novemhcr 15th, 1891. 

Dear Sir, — Recently I learned that you are the Secretary of the American 
Branch of the Society for Psychical Research. Being interested in the sub- 
ject, I concluded to write to you, offering a statement of my own experience. 
As so-called spiritual manifestations are viewed unfavourably here, and as it 
would be mucli to my detriment if my connection with the subject were to 
become known, I ask that my name be withlield from the public. 

For the past five years I have been a so-called writing medium. The 
writing is involuntary on my jDart, and the thoughts expressed are not mine — 
that is, as far as I know they are not mine. 

Sometimes, instead of writing, off-hand pen work will be done, but it is not 
of a very high order. In the writing the penmanship is generally very good, 
and the thoughts expressed are generally good, and are sometimes valuable. 
As you are undoubtedly familiar with this class of writing, I will not go into 
details, but will leave you to inquire for such facts as you see fit. 

I am anxious to find a satisfactory explanation of this, and I hope the 
Society may yet be able to furnish one. 

As an indication of the trend of my thoughts, I will add that for the past 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoidedge, dx. 243 

13 or 14 years I have been a student of the works of Herbert Spencer and 
other great men of liberal views, and that I am an evolutionist, so called. 

If you think my experience will be of use, please call for it. You may 
send questions, or you may state in a general way the outline of what will be 
of use. 

N.Y., December 22nd, 1891. 

Dr. Ilichard Hodgson. 

Sir, — . . . Five years ago I was in Vermont on business, and •while 
there made a visit at the home of a relative. In the evening, for amusement, 
a planchette was produced and operated. Pretty soon it was written that I 
was a writing medium, and I was requested to try with a pencil. I took a 
pencil in my hand and to my surprise I found I could write some in the 
"automatic " manner. The writing was not very good and was accomj^anied 
with more or less breaks and difficulties. It was written that practice would 
make it much freer and better. This I found to be so. Persons in the room 
asked as to dates on pieces of money and other similar tests, and the answers 
were generally correct. After that I wrote some almost daily for some time 
and soon became quite a ready writer in this manner. 

On one occasion, not long after, a friend, of whose life I had known 
nothing until about that time, proposed to ask some questions mentally and 
see if the answers written would be correct. It was written that the spirit of 
his wife was present. I inquired (mentally) for her name. In reply her 
name was written out in full, correctly. I did not know her name : I knew that 
he was a widower, and I knew no more of his wife or the matters inquired 
about. My friend then asked (mentally) where she died and when ? The 
answers were correct. He then asked, " What was the cause of her death ? " 
The answer, "Heart disease," was correct. He then asked for the circum- 
stances of her death. It was written that she died suddenly, at night, by 
the side of him, in bed, and that tlie first thing he knew of her death was 
when he found her dead m the morning. This was correct. He asked for 
her age, size, and for any particular mark by which she could be identified 1 
The answer w^as correct as to age and size, and as to identification it was 
written that she had a large scar near the knee, caused by a burn. This was 
also correct. 

Many other questions were asked and answered ; and whether he asked 
the questions aloud, or mentally to himself, tlie answers were strictly correct 
in almost every instance. There was no one but us two present. 

On another occasion, about the same time, I made inquiry (I was alone) 
touching a case I was then investigating. Briefly, the facts are these : — 
A wealthy widow, Mrs. X. , had died at her summer cottage with no one 
present save her sister and a neighbour. She left a will : by its terms this 
sister was to receive several thousand dollars. Our client, Mrs. Y., was also 
a legatee and the executrix of the will ; and as such it was her duty to collect 
in all assets. Our client knew it to be a fact that the deceased had in cash 
in her possession a short time before her death about $700. After Mrs. X.'s 
death no money was found, and the sister who was with her claimed there 
was no money ; that Mrs. X. had no money at the time of her death about 
her, except some f 15. Our client saw this sister and questioned her closely, 
but to no purpose. I did not see or know this sister until some time after 
the writing I am about to give. The question was, what had become of the 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

$700 1 Alone by myself I asked for the facts, which were written out much in 
detail, but in substance the facts as written were these : Tliat the deceased 
had on her person at the time of her death about $600 ; that she had spent 
the other $100 ; that immediately after her death her sister, Mrs. Z., had 
stolen the $600 from her dead body ; that she had since spent some of it and 
deposited the balance, some $500, in a bank in the village of A. In the 
course of a few days we made inquiry, and learned that Mrs. Z. had made 
the deposit there, but had recently drawn it out. We then cited her before 
the Surrogate, and she swore that just before the death of Mrs. X. (the same 
night she died) Mi's. X. gave her the money, $520, to give to a nephew 
as a present ; that there was only $520 ; that she had just given it to the 
nephew. We commenced a suit against her for the money ($520) and 
recovered it. The jury did not believe her defence and made her pay. I 
have only stated so mucli of tlie case as seems to bear on the "automatic " 
writing. The question is, where did I get the knowledge of the theft, the 
amount and the deposit in the bank ? I may add that wo afterwards learned 
she did spend some money about that time that Ave always thought was some 
she took in addition to the §520, and it would have made the sum stolen 
about $600. 

About four and a half years ago an aunt of mine. Miss T., learned that 
she had a cancer growing on her breast. She liad it cut out, and soon was 
apparently in very fair health. After a few months she began to fail very 
much ; was about the house, but was very generally run down. Cancer did 
not reappear. She was not said by her doctors to be in any immediate 
danger ; but for some reason I made inquiry, and to my surprise it was 
written that she was very badly off and that she would only live a very short 
time. I inquired the cause, &c., and it was written that her system was 
poisoned through and through with cancerous matter. I inquired as to when 
she would die ? The answer was that it was impossible to tell just when, that 
the most that could be said was tliat she would live about thirty days, judging 
from a careful examination of her case made at that time. It was written that 
she would certainly die, that she could not possibly get better or live much 
longer than thirty days. Within the next week or so I inquired on several 
occasions as to the matter, but the answers were always to the same effect and 
positive. My aunt declined fast and died at the time set within a day, and I 
think it was just 30 days. She was abed only 10 days or so. A post-mortem 
showed she died from cancerous jjoisoning. 

On many occasions I have made inquiry as to whetlier certain sick ones 
would die or recover ; and if die, when '] Generally the answers proved very 

About a year ago I was writing (for the spirit of deceased friend, Mr. A. 
so claimed). After some writing of a friendly nature, it was written sub- 
stantially as follows : — " There is one thing that I wish you could do for me, 
but I don't see how you can, and that is, stop my son " (name fully given) 
"from drhiking." I answered (by thought), "Why, I am surprised. He 
doesn't drink, does he ? that is, not any to speak of, any way ? " A. : "Yes, 
I am sorry to say he drinks a good deal too much." Q. : " Where does he 
do his drinking mostly ? " A. : " At the B. Hotel." I said I never heard 
of his drinking. A. : " Well, you watch and inquire, and you will find out 

Oil Tndications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, &c. 2-45 

that he does." " I should be very glad to be of some service in the matter." 
A. : "If I see a chance where you can I shall certainly call on you." 
Upon investigation I found this ivas all true. 

In May, 1887, while looking for authorities on an obscure point in a case 
I was then preparing for trial, it was written in substance : "I know where 
the authority is that you need." Q. : "Where?" A.; "In WendelVs 
Reports, Vol. — , page — ." Q. : "Who are you?" A. : " I am A. B." 
The volume and page, as well as the name, were given in full ; the name 
was that of an old lawyer that I had known well. The case cited was just 
vdiat I needed. I had never seen or heard of the case before to my best 
knowledge. There are 26 volumes of Wendell's Reports, of about 700 pages 

I frequently find as I am examining indexes for judgment, debtors, 
grantee's or grantor's, &c. , in clerks' offices, and elsewhere, that there is 
this same manifestation of intelligence in another form. Let me explain : 
iSay I am searching an index under the head of " S," looking for the name 
•of Stearns, John J. By jjlacing my hand or finger on the book, drawing it 
along down over the names, with no thought of the work in hand, as soon 
as my finger passes the name desired my finger will stop. My eyes must be 
directed towards the book, but no matter how listless or absent-minded 
I may be, still at such times my finger will stop at the name in question. 
When contrasted with ordinary searching the unconscious intelligence that 
seems to be behind this is very marl^cd. 

Once, being much in doubt, I asked, "What ails ? " (one of my sons) 

" What shall I do for him ? " The answer was, " You had better not try to 
•do anything for him, but go and get Dr. T. He will know what to do." I 
called Dr. T. He examined him and immediately gave an emetic. The 
contents of the stomach showed that digestion had been stopped, or rather, 
that the food had not digested at all. The boy recovered rapidly. Dr. T. said 
it was well I called him. The boy had been rather suddenly taken ill a few 
hours after a hearty meal and soon after a severe fright or mental strain. 

In a contested case over a certain clause or bequest in the will of C. we 
Jiad been defeated and were about to appeal to the Court of Appeals, our 
highest court. It was my opinion, also my partner's, that we would win on 
the appeal ; but upon inquiry it was written tliat we would be beaten, and 
this opinion was expressed on several occasions, with very good reasons 
assigned. We were advised not to appeal. We brought the appeal and were 

I have made many inquiries as to whether certain sick persons would 
xecover or die. The answers have been very correct, generally. Writing- 
touching the future is generally stated to be but an opinion, based on known 
facts, and fallibility is freely admitted. When oj)inions are written the 
reasons assigned are very frequently not only new to me, or unthought of, 
but are generally good reasons. ■ 

I have had a good deal of experience and made a good many tests. Those 
T have given are a fair sample, I think, of the writing that proved to be true. 
Many statements made were false and many predictions made proved untrue ; 
of these I have given no illustration, but could if necessary. I have done 
most of my writing when no one was present. Perhaps I should state that 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

it has been repeatedly written not to believe any writing or statement unless 
my own good judgment approved of it. I have written a good deal touching 
a future state, political and philosophical matters. Of all this I have not 
spoken, as it does not seem of iuuch importance for our present purposes. 
In passing I will say that much of it was apparently very good, and quite 

December 28th. 

Since writing the foregoing I have read your very able article [on 
"Premonitions"] in the AreiM for January, and I have also had an 
experience that may be of interest. 

On Christmas Eve there was, as you are probably aware, a railway accident 
near Hastings, a little way out from New Yoi'k City, in which 12 persons 
were killed and another has since died from injuries received. This last- 
mentioned person resided near me. The news of the injury to this person 
reached me on Christmas Day. Telegrams in the afternoon were favourable, 
and indicated a recovery. 

I made in(iuiry as to the matter, and it was written in substance that the 
person would not recover. I suggested tliat telegrams indicated a recovery. 
The answer was : ' ' Yes ; but we have made an examination, and are of 
opinion tliat no recovery will take place." 

Telegrams the second day were still more favourable, but my writing did 
not change in oi:)inion. The party died at nine o'clock on the evening of the 

January 29th, 1892. 

Dr. R. Hodgson. 

Deab Sir, — In reply to your inquiry for such facts as I may be able to 
give, touching the experiences given you by my husband, as automatic 
writer, I will state : — 

Not long after he began to write, some five yeai's ago, I saw a sheet of 
paper upon which was written a full account of the robbing of the body of 
the dead sister. I read the account carefully. My husband said that he had 
written it automatically ; that he had asked for the facts and tliat was the 
answer. The account of it, as written out for you by my husband, is the 
same in substance as what I saw and read, except it is very much shortened. 
I had the paper for some time, and, I think, until after the facts as given were 
proven true ; but it was destroyed long ago. I attended the trial of the suit 
brought to recover the money. His account given you I Ijelieve to be 

The lady, Miss T., who had a cancer, was my aunt. The account of her 
sickness and death are correctly given you by my husband, but I saw no 
writing, although my husband told me at the time he had written something 
concerning her, and he stated that it was written that she would die and told 
when. I do not recall the time set, but I recollect her death occurred at the 
time predicted. 

I recollect the time referred to when our son was sick. I saw my 

husband doing some writing on that occasion, and it was written to go and 
get Dr. T. The account as written out for you by my husband is, as I 
recollect it, true in every respect. 

Concerning the accident of Christmas Eve, I remember that on Christmas 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, &c. 247 

Day, after we heard of the accident, my husband did some writing. He said he 
had inquired as to Mr. E.'s condition, &c., and that it was written that E. 
would die, that he was internally and dangerously injured. On the next day 
the answers that he received as to Mr. E.'s condition were to the same effect. 
The telegrams received during the same time indicated tliat he would recover, 
one reported him out of danger. E. died about nine on the night of 
the 26th. 

I have known my husband to write out correctly quite a good many 
things tliat were out of the knowledge of ordinary persons, but of the 
circumstances which he has given to you I do not now recall anything 
further. [Mrs. W.] 

Jaiiuary 29fh, 1892. 

Dr. Richard Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — I recollect the occasion referred to by Mr. W. I think it was 
about five years ago. We were alone ; he spoke of the queer writing he was. 
doing. After some talk on the subject Mr. W. consented to try his skill. I 
inquired what spirits were present, and Mr. W.'s hand wrote that my wife' 
was. I inquired for her name, and he wrote Adelia O. B., which was correct. 
I also inquired where slie died, and where and under what circumstances, 
and I asked for a description of her. Mr. W. wrote out answers to all 
the questions as I asked them. As I recall it, I asked most of the questions- 
l)y thinking. He wrote that she died of heart disease, and the date of her 
death was correctly given, as was also her personal appearance. And it was 
written that slie died in hed witli me ; that the first I knew of her death was. 
when I awoke in the morning. He also wrote that there was a large scar 
near the knee on the left leg. 

I recollect that the answers were correct, altlioiigh I don't recollect all the 
words used, j^erhaps. I am very certain tliat Mr. W. did not know anything 
about my wife. I had not lived within 20 miles of him, neither had I kn<:)wn 
him until several years after the death of my wife. It puzzled me how he 
was able to answer as he did, as I have no reason to think he had any know- 
ledge on the subject. I will add that the height, colour of eyes and liair and 
the entire personal description given were exceedingly exact and correct. 

Mr. W. also wrote on that occasion what purported to come from an old 
friend of mine — that he went fishing with me to Lake Ontario, that I tipped 
the boat over near shore and got him wet. This was true, but I hadn't 
thought of it in a long time. Mr. W. never lieard of it, I am confident, until 
he wrote it out. 

S. H. Bkitton. 

As soon as Mr. Britton called my attention to the tipping over of the boat 
I recalled that I wrote about it at the time. W. 

JSTew York, February Hh, 1892. 

Dr. R. Hodgson. 

[In a subsequent letter, Mr. W. adds : — ] I began my automatic writing 
with my left hand, and have ever since been able to write in that manner 
with my left hand, but I am naturally right-lianded, and I can write more 
rapidly and readily with my riglit hand, although the ideas expressed, &:., 

248 ■ ■ Mr. F. W. H. Myers, 

are of as higli an order, as far as I have observed, when written with one 
hand as when written with tlie otlier. 

In automatic work, when the mechanical ability to form letters is not 
required, as, for instance, in running the hand down an index, I find my 
left hand is fully tlie ecj^ual of my right. Perhaps I should state that I met 
with a serious injury to my right hand many years ago, by which I lost the 
two first fingers and greatly crippled my hand otherwise. 

The reason that I did my first automatic writing with my left hand was 
that the planchette directed me to do so. I wrote a day or two with my 
left hand and then I tried my right, and since that I have generally written 
with my riglit. I can write some slowly in tlie natural manner with my left 
hand, but have never done so but very little. The special point I wish to 
call attention to is, that the ideas autoni'itically writien are of as high an 
order, written with one hand, as with the other. 

I will conclude the present instalment of evidence with the third 
motor message already mentioned ; — a case singularly interesting, as 
re3ording what purports to be the successful accomplishment of an experi- 
msnt whose partial failure in one carefully watched instance we have 
already recorded. (Vol. VI., p. 657.) It is an experiment which every- 
one may make; — which everyone oiiglit to make ; — for, small as may be 
the chances of success, a few score of distinct successes would establish 
a presumption of man's survival wliich the common-sense of mankind 
would refuse to explain away. If accepted, the incident shows a 
continued perception on the part of the decedent of the efforts made by 
friends to communicate with him. 

G. 220. 

TJie first account, says Dr. Hodgson, which I received of the following 
case was given in an article by Herman Snow in the Religio-Philosophical 
Journal for January 31st, 1891. Mr. Snow Vi^rote as follows ; — 

■ The most perfect spirit identity test which I find upon my records is as 
follows : It occurred in the town of Kingston, Mass. , about twenty -five years 
ago, and was related to me by the Unitarian minister of tlie place in whose 
parish the parties resided. All the facts were well known to him and per- 
sonally vouched for to me. There lived in that town a young man of marked 
spirituality, who was also a poet of a high order of inspiration. A volume 
entitled Cousin Benjas Poems, written by him, was held in high esteem 
by many Spiritualists of the earlier times. The home of this young man was 
with a sister, between whom and himself existed ties of affinity and affection 
of unusual strength and p3rmanency. Bat the brother was a confirmed 
invalid. Consumption had laid its irresistible hand upon him and was slowly 
but surely loosening the immortal from the mortal of his being. Knowing 
this, and having a firm faith in the spirit's power to return, but being at the 
same time, as an advanced spiritual tliinker, aware of the difficulties in the way 
of a perfect identification, he told his sister that he would try to arrange 
matters so that she would have satisfactory proof of his return to her when at 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knoivledge, dr. 249 

length he should be fairly over to the other side of life. And this was the 
way it was done ; He took a piece of soft brick and carved it into a slender 
oblong form, and taking it to his sister broke it in two pieces, giving one to 
her with the injunction to take good care of it ; the other, he said, he would 
himself take care of. He also especially enjoined upon his sister that after 
his departure she should give him an early opportunity of communicating 
with her to the end that the proposed test might be consummated. When at 
length the time came, it was communicated to her that if she would go into 
the carefully arranged room formerly occupied by him, and look upon a cer- 
tain shelf in the corner now designated, she would find a large sea-shell ; and 
in the recess of that shell she would find the mate to the piece of brick he 
had given her. This was done, and thus was the test made comjalete. For, 
on trial, the two pieces were found exactly to fit into each other, thus proving 
beyond reasonable doubt that this discovery of the piece of brick was made 
by the brother, the only one who had known of its hiding place. 

Belvidere, N.J. Herman Snow. 

The Unitarian minister, the Rev. J. H. Phipp, who informed Mr. Snow 
of the case, died in 1871. We learnt the address of the decedent's sister, 
Mrs. William A. Finney, from the Rev. Courtland Y. de Normandie, who is 
now pastor of a church in Kingston, Massachusetts. 

Mr. Snow has also sent us a transcript from his note-book of his 
first article on the subject, written at San Francisco, January, 1881, 
and published, he thinks, in 1881, in the Religio-Philosophical Journal. 
The later article is merely a repetition of this earlier account. We 
have therefore two independent memories, — one at third hand from 
Mr. Snow, recorded 15 years after the event, one at first hand from 
Mrs. Finney, recorded 25 years after the event, — closely coinciding 
with each other. 

The following letters on the subject have been received from Mrs. 
Finney : — 

Rockland, Mass., April 19i/i, 1891. 

Mr. Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Some weeks ago I received from you a few lines asking me to 
give you an account of the communication received from Cousin Benja in. 
spirit-Hfe, some twenty-five years ago. 

For weeks and months before my brother left tlie form we conversed 
freely on the subject of spirit communion and such matters, and one morning 
he requested me to bring him a small piece of brick, also pen and ink ; he 
then made two marks on one side and one on the other with the ink, then 
breaking the brick in two, gave me one piece, telling me at the time to take 
care of it, and some day he would hide the other piece away where no one 
but himself would know, and after leaving the form, if possible, would return 
in some way and tell me where it was. I could then compare them together, 
and it would be a test that he could return and communicate, and mi/ mind 
could not have any influence over it, as I did not know where he put it. 

After he left the form our anxiety was %-erij great to hear and learn all we 
could of communicating with spirits, and for months we got nothing satis- 
factory, ^ .,. 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

We tlien commenced sitting at the table at home (uiother and myself), 
which we did for some little time ; at last it commenced tijjping, and by 
calling the alphabet spelled out where we could find the -piece of brick that 
he put away, — that was tlie way we got the test. To us that was truth that 
spirits can and do communicate with us, and nothing but the influence and 
power of Benja could tell us that test. — Truly yours, 

Mrs. Wm. A. Finney. 

Rockland, Mass. 

Rockland, May 3rd, 1891. 

Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of April 21st received, and I will add a few more lines 
as to statement of brother Benja's communication. 
By calling the alphabet we spelled out : — 

"You will find that piece of brick in the cabinet under the tomahawk. — 

I went to tliat room and took the key, unlocked the cabinet, which had 
not been touched by anyone after he locked it and put away the key. There 
I found that piece of brick just as it liad spelled out, and it corresponded 
with tlie piece I had retained, fitting on exactly where he broke it off the 
piece I had. It was wrapped in a bit of paper and tucked into a shell, and 
placed in the bottom of the cabinet exactlij under the tomahawk, as was 
spelled out by the alphaliet. 

This is truth, and no power but Benja's could tell that. 

Mother is not living ; I am the only one of the family that is living. — • 
Yours respectfully, 

Mrs. Wm. A. Finney. 

Rockland, Mass. 

Rockland. 3Ia>i 11th, 1891. 

Mr. R. Hodgson. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of 6th received. I will continue to say, in answer to- 
your questions, that the piece of brick was entirely concealed in the sliell, so 
that it could not be seen from outside of cabinet. It was wrapped in a piece 
of paper stuck togetlier witli nuicilage and tucked into the end of the shell, 
then a piece of pajjer gummed over that, so that nothing was visible from the 

The shell was on the lower shelf of the cabinet, and only the top of the 
shell was visiljle outside tlie cabinet. 

One more little incident I will mention, for to me it is as valuable as the 
other. He wrote me a letter (about tlie time he gave me tlie piece of brick) 
and sealed it, saying at the time it was not to be answei-ed, but the contents 
of the letter to be told. I got that in the same way I did the other, by 
calling the alphaljet and the table tipping. It was these words : — 

"Julia! do right and be hajjpy. — Benja." 

That was correct. Just the contents of my letter. I have no particular 
objection as to giving my name, for I have stated notliing but the truth. 

At my home in Kingston I have that little shell with the piece of brick, 
and if you would like them I will send them to you. Will place the brick 

On Indications of Continued Terrene Knowledge, (Lx. 251- 

into tlie shell as it was when I found it. Of course, the paper that was 
around it then is worn out years ago. The cabinet is disposed of. 

Julia A. Finney. 

Mrs. Finney further writes : — 

Rockland, June 26th, 1891. 

I send you by express a box containing the letter and shell -with the 
piece of brick. I liave placed one piece in the shell just as it was when 
I found it, so you can see how nicely it was concealed in the shell. The 
papers that were around it then are worn out. You can retain them if you 
like, as I do not care for them now. 

To me it is a positive truth that he did communicate to us, and our minds 
could have nothing to do with it. 

J. A. Finney. 

Rockland, Juhj Idth, 1891. 
. The shell was placed on the same shelf with the tomahawk, 
and no other shells on that shelf. It was placed with the open side 
down, and the tomahawk stood directly over it. I cannot say why he 
did not tell us to look inside of the shell. We started to look as soon as he 
told us. It was in the cabinet under the tomaliawk. We did not wait for 
any more to be said. 

I am not intimately acquainted with many public people. As to my 
integrity, will refer you to Rev. C. Y. de Normandie, of Kingston. 

J. A. Finney. 

The shell is a large Triton, about ten inches long. The piece of brick 
was wrapped in folds of soft paper and tucked dee2:)ly into the recess. 
Another piece of pajaer was then gummed around the sides of the shell in the 
interior, so as absolutely to prevent the piece of brick from falling out. When 
I received the shell from Mrs. Finney and looked into the interior and shook 
the sliell violently, there was nothing to indicate that the shell contained 
anything but the piece of gummed paper. 

The piece of brick in the shell weighs one and a half ounces, and the 
piece of brick retained by Mrs. Finney weighs about two and a quarter 
ounces. The sliell with the piece of brick and paper wrapping weighs about 
eleven and a half ounces. 

Mrs. Finney also forwarded me the letter written by her brother. The 
shell and the pieces of brick and the letter are now all in my possession. 

R. Hodgson. 

We have a letter (in original) from the Rev. C. Y. de Noi'mandie, of 
Kingston, Canada, to Mrs. Finney. " I expressed then," he says, speaking 
of a former note to Dr. Hodgson which accidentally went astray, ' ' that to 
the best knowledge I had of you and to my firm belief your word could be 
implicitly relied on. I felt confident that you would state a matter as you 
understood it, as you regarded it, without reference to the consequences ; and 
that you would not be any more likely to be misled and deceived about a 
matter of that kind than others similarly situated." 

The experiment which was in this case successful is one which 
might be tried by everybody. And I may close the present instalment 
of evidence with the remark that it is to experiment with automatic 


Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

writing, crystal- vision, kc, rather than to spontaneous apparitions, that 
we must look for any real information as to the degree in which departed 
spirits retain their knowledge of the things of earth. 

Once more I must express my astonishment and regret that 
amongst some tens — perhaps hundreds — of thousands of persons, 
scattered over many countries, who already believe that the road of 
communication between the two worlds is open, there should be so very 
few who can or will make any serious effort to obtain fresh evidence of 
so importaiit a fact. But, quite apart from the Spiritist camp, there 
are now many inquirers who know that automatic writing is a real fact 
in nature, and who are willing to discuss with an open mind the origin 
of any message which may thus be given. Let these set themselves to 
the task, and the result of organised and intelligent effort will soon, 
as I believe, be made plain. 

For aught that we can tell, there may be coUaboratox'S elsewhere 
■who only await our appeal. Why should not every death-bed be made 
the starting-point of a long experiment 1 And why should not every 
friend who sails forth kiovoiv vnip "HpaKkioi- — into the unknown sea — 
endeavour to send us news from that bourne from which few 
travellers, perhaps, have as yet made any adequate or systematic effort 
to return? 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, &c. 253 



By Richard Hodgson, LL.D. . " 

In the Introduction which I wrote {Proceedings S.P.R., Yol. lY., 
pp. 381-404) for the late Mr. Davey's "Experimental Investigation," 
conducted for the purpose of ascertaining " the jDOSsibilities of mal- 
observation and lapse of memory from a practical point of \'iew," 
I pointed out that " to explain the tricks would in itself be of little 
advantage to the investigator of the 'physical phenomena' of mediums"; 
that other methods than those employed by Mr. Davey may be (and 
unquestionably are) practised ; and in any case that explanations of the 
methods in use would hardly be likely to convince persons who have 
testified from personal experience to the genuineness of the "psycho- 
graphy " of well-known " slate-writing " mediums that such methods 
were used for the production of the phenomena which they witnessed. 
"They will scarcely," I said, "be likely to remember the occurrence of 
events which they perhaps never observed at all, or observed only 
partiiilly and erroneously ; which, whether correctly or incorrectly 
observed, they have afterwards continually misdescribed or completely 
forgotten ; and which, in many cases, would be distinctly excluded hy 
the acceptance of their testimony as it stands." The notes appended 
to the detailed rei^orts quoted in the article referred to would, we 
thought, sufficiently show to the reader the several kinds of mistakes 
made by intelligent witnesses in recording their impressions of per- 
formances like Mr. Davey's, and would enable the student — not 
necessarily to discover in every case the exact modus operandi of the 
tricks, for this appeared to us to be of trivial importance, but — to 
appreciate the unreliability of human testimony under circumstances 
common to such perfoi'mances. It was, indeed, my own personal opinion 
that on the whole it was advisable that the methods of Mr. Davey 
should be described in detail, as far as possible, though in many cases 
it would be difficult to explain verbally exactly what occurred so that 
the reader could enter fully into the situation. Mr. Davey, however, 
was strongly opposed to the revelation, and for various reasons. His 
chief objections, I believe, were that other methods than the ones 
which he employed had probably been used by pseudo-mediums, that 
new methods would doubtless be invented, that the description of hia 

254 ■ ' Mr. R. Hodgson 

inethods would interfere greatly with his projected plan of giving nume- 
rous additional sittings and obtaining further reports (in connection 
with which he proposed to explain his methods fully), and that many of 
his sitters would be annoyed at finding jDrecisely how they had been 
deceived. Mr. Davey's death has removed the only argument — I may 
now freely say — which had special cogency in my own case, viz., his 
purpose to give another series of sittings, all of which should be 
attended by a person thoroughly familiar with his methods, and 
cognisant beforehand (so far as such cognisance was possible) of the 
precise things which he intended to do ; this person was to write an 
account both of what was intended and what he witnessed ; Mr. Davey 
was to supplement this account by his own statements ; and these 
accounts were to be compared with the reports of the sitter in each 
case. The object, of course, in this projected later series was to em- 
phasise still more forcibly the unrelialjility of the testimony so widely 
accepted, among Spiritualists, as adequate to establish the genuineness 
of the manifestations in question. 

It appears, however, that the accounts of Mr. Davey's sittings pub- 
lished in Vol. IV. of (lur Proceedings are in themselves more than 
enough to demonstrate the affirmed unreliability of such testimony, and 
to justify the position originally put forward by Mrs. Sidgwick that 
the possibilities of mal-observation and lapse of memory must be abso- 
lutely excluded before the testimony to " slate-writing " and similar 
performances can be taken into further serious consideration. This is 
clearly shown by the communication which formed the immediate 
cause of this article, viz., the letter of Mr. Alfi'ed Russel Wallace 
jjrinted in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research for 
March, 1891, in which he stated that Mr. Davey's performances "are 
claimed to be all trick, and unless all can be so explained many of us 
will be confirmed in our belief that Mi*. Davey was really a medium as 
well as a conjurer." At the close of my Introduction to the reports of 
Mr. Davey's sittings, I asked the " experienced Spiritualist " to " point 
out exactly where the difference lies between ' Mr. Davey's perform- 
ances ' and mediumistic phenomena." Mr. Wallace has accepted this 
challenge in the name of " many of us " ; — there is no more illustrious 
name than his upon the roll of adherents to a belief in Spiiitualism ; 
and his reply is substantially a confession that he cannot distinguish 
between Mr. Davey's pei'formances and ordinary " mediumistic " 
phenomena. But, strangely enough, as it appears to Mrs. Sidgwick 
and myself, and others who were familiar Avith IMr. Da^^ey's devices, 
Mr. Wallace's conclusion seems to l^e, not that the analogous pheno- 
mena which have been reported about " mediums " were dvie to trickery, 
but that Mr. Davey's performances were "mediumistic"! The issue 
has changed. We are no longer asked to prove that this or that 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conju-rivg, &c. 255 

medium is a " trickster " ; — we are asked to prove that Mr. Davey 
was not a medium ! Could any Vjetter evidence be offered that Mr. 
Davey's performances and those of certain professional mediums belong 
to the same class 1 ■ . • . . 

Now, I am not at all sure how far my explanations of Mr. Davey's 
devices will make clear to Mr. Wallace and the many others who agree 
with him, that every apparently " phenomenal " occurrence at his 
sittings can be accounted for by ordinary means. It is impossible to 
reproduce all the details of the sittings, so that the reader may have a 
faithful picture of the seemingly insignificant incidents that made the 
writing upon a slate on or under the table, or the turning over of one 
or two slates, or the substitution of one slate for another, or the secreting 
and carrying out of the room (to deal with at leisure) of one of the 
.sitter's own slates, appear to the instructed and watchful observer so 
transparently easy. I should have much greater confidence did I know 
that these doubters of Mr. Davey's dexterity were familiarising them- 
selves with such books as Professor Hoffmann's Modern Magic and 
More Magic, Mr. John W. Truesdell's Spiritualism, Bottom Facts, and 
fi recent book published in America by Farrington and Co. (St. Paul, 
Minn.), entitled Revelations of a Spirit-Mediu7n. Above all, I recom- 
mend these doubters to experiment for themselves. It may be difficult 
for them to obtain the assistance of a person like Mr. Davey, but they 
can at least study from books on conjuring the details of many per- 
formances commonly exhibited on the pviljlic stage, and by accompanying 
their uninitiated friends to the entertainment, and listening to their 
accounts of the tricks afterwards, they will be, I venture to think, 
considerably helped towards a proper appreciation of the misdescriptions 
usually given of such performances, and will perhaps begin to see the 
absurdity of attributing " mediumship " to Maskelyne, or Lynn, or 
Davey. In this direction at least the account of Mr. Davey's methods 
may prove serviceable. 

I shall begin by giving a brief statement of the chief methods used 
by Mr. Davey and then illustrate his actual practice by describing in 
detail some of the most important occurrences at sittings where I was 
present myself. I shall then state what occurred, according to Mr. 
Davey, at the sittings particularly noted by Mi'. Wallace as remarkable, 
and finally give the explanation of other incidents which without such 
special reference might still remain incomprehensible. Had I foreseen 
my departure for America, and my continued stay here, and therefore 
the impossibility of my conducting such a later series of experiments 
as I have mentioned above, I should doubtless have reduced to written 
record at the time the details of the sittings which I myself witnessed, 
as well as Mr. Davey's statements concerning the other sittings. As it 
is, I must depend upon my recollections, assisted by the contemporary 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

notes published, in connection with the repoi-ts, in Vol. IV. of the 
Proceedings. With the regular methods employed by Mr. Davey I was, 
of course, very familiar, as he frequently practised them in my presence, 
and consulted me about variations of them. Further, I talked them 
over in detail with Mrs. Sidgwick and Professor Hoffmann, and was 
present at five out of the sixteen sittings reported, and saw them used. 
I questioned Mr. Davey at the time about all the incidents at the 
sittings where I was not present, and was perfectly satisfied with his 
explanations. I may add that I have seen similar methods used by 
" mediums " in America, as will be seen later from my account of a 
visit to the notorious medium Slade. 

Referring to the reports, it will be noticed that the manifestations 
most frequent at Mr. Davey's sittings were : — (1) Writing on the 
upper surface of a single slate held against the underside of the table ; 
(2) Writing on the upper surface of the under slate when two slates 
were placed together above the table; (3) Writing in Mr. Davey's locked 
slate. I shall describe the normal method used in each case ; I say 
" normal," because differences between the sitters as to their attention, 
(fee, together with other incidental circumstances, produced, in almost 
every instance, certain slight variations from the prescribed stej^s. 

(1) The slate having been cleaned and placed near the edge of the 
table on top, with a piece of pencil or chalk upon it, Mr. Davey 
takes a thiml:)le-pencil from a hip-pocket, and slips it on the end of a 
finger, say the third, of the right hand. A thimble-pencil is a 
tailor's thimljle with a small piece of pencil (or chalk) fastened to it. 
He then draws the slate over the edge of the table, with the thumb of 
his right hand on top of the slate, the finger with j^encil being tucked 
into his palm, brings the first and second fingers up to the under 
■surface of the slate, and slowly slides the slate under the table, 
requesting the sitter on his right to hold the slate with him, and to 
keep it pressed closely up to the under surface of the table. The sitter 
does so. The slate is out of sight, ljut the thumbs of the holders are 
visiljle. The sitter, in response to Mr. Davey's suggestion, asks a 
question. Mr. Davey writes the answer noiselessly with his thimble- 
pencil on the under surface of the slate, without the knowledge of 
the sitter. After an interval of waiting, he proceeds to withdraw the 
slate, ostensibly to see if anything has been written. He places it on 
the table, and by that time the sitter has let go of the slate. Nothing 
is found written (on the upper surface of the slate, where the sitter 
knows that the writing is to appear if it comes at all, and where 
alone inspection is made). Mr. Davey lifts the piece of pencil off, 
rubs the upper surface again with a cloth, then seizes the slate with 
the fingers uppermost, and the thumb underneath, raises the slate 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, &c. 


from the table and places it once more under the table, turning the 
slate over as it is going under the table, and just before pressing it 
against the under surface of the table, drops upon it again a piece of 
pencil from the table. The answer to the question is now on the 
upper surface of the slate, pressed against the table; He then reminds 
the sitter to hold the slate also, and asks that the question be re- 
peated. After a short interval, the sound of writing is heard, caused 
by Mr. Davey writing (for it is possible to write either with or with- 
out noise), on the now under surface of the slate, the answer to a 
question not yet asked, and which Mr. Davey may ask himself after 
the next insertion of the slate under the table. The slate is then 
withdrawn as before, the answer on the upjjer surface is read, that 
surface is cleaned by Mr. Davey ; the slate is again placed under the 
table and turned as before in the process. And so on. 

(2) Writing on the interior surface of one of two slates held to- 
gether above the table. 

One slate has already been written upon, during or previous to the 
sitting, and this lies, writing downward, upon the table. Mr. Davey 
gives two other similar slates to the sitter to examine and clean, asks 
him to place pencil (or chalk) on one of them on the table, cover it 
with the other, and place his hands upon them. Mr. Davey also 
places his hands uj^on them. After an interval of waiting Mr. Davey 
suggests looking to see if there is writing. The sitter removes hi.s 
hands, Mr. Davey takes olF the top slate and places it with seeming 
carelessness on one side close to where the third slate is lying, and after 
removing the pencil, say, from the other slate, and perhaps rubbing 
it again with the duster, which afterwards is perhaps thrown on the 
slate just removed, and placing some pieces of chalk again on the 
slate, he takes the third slate (writing already on the under surface) 
and places it on top. The sitter and Mr. Davey place their hands on 
the slates as before. After another interval of waiting Mr. Davey 
proposes to hold the slates in the air, or resting against the sitter's 
shoulder. The sitter raises his hands from the slates. Mr. Davey 
takes the two slates together, the fingers of his right hand above, 
the thumb below, and in lifting them from the table turns them both 
over together. This movement is probably completed by the time the 
sitter also takes hold of the slates. After a short time, a sound as of 
writing is heard, and when this is finished, the sitter lifts the top 
slate, and finds the upper surface of the lower slate covered v^ith 
writing. But what produces the sound as of writing 1 Sometimes the 
finger-nail of Mr. Davey on the under surface of the bottom slate, some- 
times a movement of his knee to which is attached a piece of common 
slate-pencil, the ends resting in two small loops of rubber sewn on to 
his trousers. He chafes this piece of pencil against another piece 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

attached to a fragment of wood from which project two fine steel points, 
by means of which he easily secures it to the pendent rim or the leg of 
the table. This was Mr. Davey's variation, I believe, on the idea 
suggested by the wedge-shaped clamp illustrated by Mr. Truesdell. 
{Spiritucdism, Bottom Facts, p. 199.) 
(3) Writing in the locked slate. 

Mr. Davey has two locked slates precisely alike, i.e., as precisely 
alike as skilled Avorkmanship could make them. In some cases a com- 
munication was prepared beforehand, and when a reply was not de- 
manded to some specific question, a single substitution was all that 
was required. When a question was asked in the locked slate, two 
substitutions were needed. Thus, a question is written by the sitter 
in locked slate A. Mr. Davey sul>stitutes locked slate B for A, opens 
A and answers the question (usually taking it out of the room for the 
purpose), and later on re-substitutes it for B. 

" Well, but," I hear some readers say, " I want to know exactly 
how and when he makes these substitutions, and besides, how and when 
-does he cover the side of one of the sitter's own slates with writing ? " 
It is just these questions that are difiicult to answer satisfactorily 
without introducing the whole mise en scene, so to speak, of the sitting. 
I think, however, that a tolerably fair conception may be formed by 
considering several of the reports and descriljing, as far as I can now 
reproduce them, the immediately connected details. But before doing 
so I shall describe Mr. Davey's usual method of substituting one of 
his locked slates for the other. This might almost be called his favourite 

The first step was to engage the "attention of the sitter on some 
other object. This was usually done by starting an experiment with 
another single slate or pair of slates. While the sitter was occupied in 
cleaning a slate, or examining pieces of pencil or chalk, or inspecting 
the writing that so "mysteriously " appeared on the oixlinaiy slate, Mr. 
Davey was manipulating his " duster," a cloth which he used for dry- 
ing the slates. This, after perhaps drying a slate with it, he would 
throw, apparently carelessly, over the locked slate on the table, and so 
as to hide this slate completely. Then, under cover, occasionally, of 
the use of his handkerchief, he would slip the other locked slate from 
his coat pocket or from beneath liis waistcoat, slide it softly upon the 
edge of the table, and, l^ending over the table somewhat, with 
possibly one arm resting far forward on the table, so as partly to 
obstruct the view of the moving skite, 2:>ush the slate softly forward till 
it was near the first slate concealed by the " duster." He would then 
sometimes boldly remove the duster with the first slate inside, and, 
below the surface of the table, slip the slate beneath his waistcoat, 
afterwards replacing the duster on the table. Sometimes after the second 

Mr. Bavey's Imitations hy Conjuring, dec. 259 

slate had been placed upon the table, he allowed the first slate, covered 
by the duster, to remain on the table also for a considerable interval, 
owing to the possible danger of removing it without detection. On 
one occasion it remained there, I think, for more than a quarter of an 
hour, until at least the conclusion of the sitting, when he gathered up 
his various articles into his bag. While the sitter was wondering at 
the long communication in the second locked slate, the first locked slate, 
under the duster, was lying within his reach on the table before him. 

Let us now consider the above explajiations in detail with special 
reference to Sitting II. {Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. IV., pp. 426-435.) For 
convenience of reference I here reproduce portions of the accounts : — 

Mrs. Y.'s Account. 
A jiiece of clialk was placed on one of our slates, and the slate was held 
tightly up against the underside of the table leaf by one of Mr. Davey's hands 
and one of my daughter's. Their thumbs were on top of the table, and their 
hands spread underneath on the underside oi the slate. I hekl Mr. Davey's 
other hand, and we all joined hands around the taljle. I watched tlie two 
hands holding the slate without a moment's intermission, and I am confident 
that neither Mr. Davey's hand nor my daughter's moved in the least durmg 
the whole time. Two or three c^uestions were asked without any sign of 
response. Then Mr. Davey asked rather emphatically, looking hard at the 
corner of the table under which they were holding the slate, " Will you do 
anything for us ? " After this question had been repeated three or four 
times, a scratching noise was heard, and on drawing out the slate a distinct 
" Yes " was found written on it, tlie chalk being found stationary at the pomt 
where the writing ceased. As my eyes were fixed uninterruptedly on both 
my daughter's hand and on Mr. Davey's also, and as I certainly had fast 
hold of his other liand all the time, I feel confident he did not write this word 
in any ordinary way. This same result was obtained two or three times. 

• ■ , Miss Y.'s Account. 

Mr. Hodgson brought us a little pasteboard box, in which were a number 
of small pieces of chalk of different colours. I chose two of these and placed 
them on one of om- slates. We had all previously written either our names or 
our initials on that side of the slate. Mr. Davey slipjjed the slate under the 
edge of the table, I holding on to it all the time, and we held it flat under 
the table with our thumbs above the table. I held the slate very firmly 
against tlie table, and I am sure I did not relax my hold once. After waiting 
some time and asking various questions, we heard, or seemed to hear, the 
chalk moving on tlie slate. We drew tlie slate out, and on it was written 
"Yes," which was an answer to our last question. We again put the slate 
under the table, and, in order to be sure that nothing liad been written on 
it, I half slipped it out again and saw that it was pei'fectly clean. After 
some more waiting, my father asked when we were to sail for America. The 
chalk again squeaked, and on drawing the slate out we found "the 18th" 
written very indistinctly. This hajipeued not to be the date, which was the 


Ilr. R. Hodgson. 

There is no mention of the previous withdrawals in either of these 
accounts. Mr. Y., however, did remember them, and recorded them 
in his report. 

At the first and second examination nothing was on the slate, and it was. 
washed afresh, and soon the word "Yes" was found scrawled on the upper 
side of the slate as an answer to some indifferent question. 

Mr. Davey did not venture to write the word at once, and did not 
produce his writings continuously. The first part of a sitting was 
often a time of tedious waiting, so that the vigilance of the sitters 
might become relaxed, and so that they might be accustomed to regard 
the withdrawals of the slate as having no special meaning, if, indeed, 
it should ever occur to a sitter that they were suspicious. After one of 
the early withdrawals, Mr. Davey, having previously written the word 
yes on the under surface of the slate, turned the slate over in the act 
of replacing it, and, of course, during this interval Miss Y.'s hand was 
not holding the slate. She had relinquished her hold when the slate 
was placed on the table. Mr. Davey then asked his own question, t» 
which the yes was a proper reply. Similarly after one of the later 
withdrawals, Mr. Davey, having written "the 18th" on the under 
surface as a reply to a question previously asked by Mr. Y., and having 
turned the slate over in the act of replacing it, requested Mr. Y. to 
repeat his question. "On what day do Ave sail for America?"' 
Thereupon the writing was apparently produced, and the answer 
exhibited proved to be relevant, though the date given was not correct. 
It would weary the reader were I to point out all the discrepancies 
between the reports which I quote, such as that Mrs. Y. speaks of "a 
piece of chalk," and Miss Y. speaks of "two" pieces as having been placed 
on the slate. It is important, however, to emphasise here that although 
the slate was several times withdrawn from under the table, and Miss 
Y. on these occasions relinquished her hold of it completely, yet there 
is not the slightest indication in the above accounts that Miss Y.'s hold 
was ever relaxed at all, or that there Avas a single AvithdraAval Avhen 
nothing Avas found Avritten upon the slate. These are instances of the 
complete omission, from the record, of circumstances without which 
the trick Avould have been impossible. They were due to lapse of 
memory rather than to mal-observation, since at the times of the 
withdrawals the sitters Avere doubtless aware of them. The turnings of 
the slate as Mr. Davey replaced it under the table Avere probably not 
observed ; that is to say, it Avas not observed that his method of placing 
the slate under the table brought the unexamined surface to the top. 

After this exj^lanation I think that the reader Avill find no difficulty 
in seeing exactly hoAv the similar " phenomena " recounted in the other 
reports, in connection Avith a single slate held under the table, Avere pro- 
duced. He must sujjply, of course, the " AvithdraAvals " and the accom- 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, <&c. 261 

panying circumstances, since these are completely omitted from nearly 
all the records, and where the withdrawals are mentioned there seems 
to have been no conception, in the mind of the witness, of their 

Proceeding to the cases of Avriting appearing between two slates 
above the table, I quote the three different accounts from Sitting II. 

Mrs. Y.'s Account. 
After a short rest, Mr. Davey asked us to wash two of our own slates and 
put them together, with pieces of chalk of different colours between, and all 
of us to reach across the table and hold them all together. This we did, and 
then Mr. Davey asked my husband to choose mentally three colours he 
wished used in writing. After all holding the slates closely pressed together 
for a few minutes, we placed them on the table, and Mr. Davey and I placed 
our hands on them while the rest joined hands. In a few moments the same 
sort of electric shock seemed to pass through Mr. Dav^ey, and his hand and 
arm which were on the slates quivered nervously, and immediately a scratch- 
ing noise was heard. He then asked me to lift one slate off the other, which 
I did, and found one side covered with writing in three colours, the very 
three my husband had mentally chosen. I am perfectly confident that my 
hand was not removed from the slates for one single instant, and that I never 
lost sight of them for a moment. 

Miss Y.'s Account. 
After this experiment, we put aside Mr. Davey's slate and took two of our 
own. We cleaned them, and placed on one a number of little pieces of 
coloured chalk. The second slate was put on the first one, and my mother 
and Mr. Davey held it above the table. Mr. Davey asked my father to think 
of three colours. We joined hands once more, and in a little while we heard 
writing between the slates. When we took one off, on tlie under one was 
written : — 

In red, " We are very glad to be able to give you this." 
In u'hite, " We can do more yet." 
In green, " Good-bye." 

My father had thought of red, white, and blue. We could not be sure by 
the night light whether the " good-bye " was written in green or blue. But 
there was a piece of chalk on the slate that looked much more blue than the 
piece with which the "good-bye" was written. 

Mr. Y.'s Account. 

We next placed small pencils, in six colours, between two of my newly- 
"bought slates, marked by ourselves with our names written in pencil, without 
removing them from the top of the table, and the hands of some of the party 
were laid upon them for some minutes, after which they were held up in the 
hands of two persons. I had been asked to choose the colours in which the 
writing should be made. I mentally chose red, white, and blue, but did not 
tell my choice. After holding Mr. Davey's hand for some minutes, with my 
mind strongly fixed on these colours, the slates were opened, and we found, 
in the order I had mentally selected : — 

262 ' ■ Mr. R. Hodgson. 

(Red) " We are glad to be able to give you this." ■ '• 
(White) " We can do more yet." 
(Blue) "Good-bye." 

The slates used were the three ordinary school slates which Mr. Y, 
had purchased on the way to the sitting, which was held at my room.s 
at Furnival's Inn. The experiment preceding this was with Mr. 
Davey's locked slate. While the sitters were still pondering over the 
writing that had appeared in the locked slate, Mr. Davey retired to 
an adjoining room, taking with him, under his waistcoat, one of Mr. 
Y.'s slates. He there wrote upon the slate in red, white, and blue, 
thinking that if Mr. Y. were asked to choose mentally three colours, 
he would be more likely to select these three than any others. (I 
believe that Mr. Davey usually had red, green, pink, blue, yellow, and 
white chalks at his sittings.) Returning to the room and the table he 
surreptitiously placed this slate on the table again, writing downward,, 
pushed Mr. Y.'s remaining two slates, which we may call the first and 
second, forward, and requested that these shoiild be cleaned thoroughly. 
After the cleaning, Mr. Davey placed some coloured pieces of chalk 
upon the first slate and covered it with the second. According to my 
remembrance, Mr. Davey then lifted the two slates a little from the 
table and asked all the sitters to join in holding them. After a short 
interval he suggested looking to see if there was any writing, and 
the slates were lowered to tlie table, the sitters removed their hands, 
and Mr. Davey took olf the top slate (the second), showing the 
under surface of it where there was no writing, and placing it on. 
the table close to the third slate. Moving the chalks slightly, to- 
be assured that there was no writing, he " replaced " — not the 
second slate which he had just removed, hut — the thij-d slate, which 
already had the writing on the under surface. He then placed his 
hands upon the slates, and so also did one or more of the sitters. After 
another short interval, Mr. Davey suggested holding them up in the air ;, 
the sitters lifted their hands, Mr. Davey seized the slates, raised them, 
turned them over together and requested, I believe, Mrs. Y. to join in 
holding them. At this stage I think that the sitters all stood up and 
that Mr. Davey then called upon Mr. Y. to think of three, colours to be 
used in the writing. Very shortly the sound as of writing was heard. 
When the sound ceased, Mi;. Davey let go of the slates, and the writing 
was found on the upper surface of the lower slate. 

It is probaljle that my remembrance of the scene even where it is 
clear and distinct is wrong in some points, and on others even my 
remembrance is not clear. I cannot recall very clearly, for example, at 
what point Mr. Y. was asked to think of three colours. He may have 
been asked earlier to choose mentally three colours, and the request may 

Mr. Davey's Imitations hy Conjuring, &c. 263- 

have been repeated later. But these points are unimportant for my 
present purpose, which is to show the reader how the trick was done. 
I witnessed Mr. Davey abstract the slate ; I witnessed him in the act 
of writing the message in the adjoining room ; I witnessed him return 
the slate to the table, and afterwards substitute it for the other slate, 
and I witnessed him turn both slates over together as he raised them in. 
the air. These were the important points for me to watch, as I knew 

ISTow for the omissions in the reports. In the first jjlace, Mr. Y. and 
Miss Y. refer nowhere in their whole reports to the fact of Mr. Davey's 
leaving the room. Mrs. Y. refers to it, but supplements her reference 
by stating that " the slates were all the time in full view on the table 
with the rest of us who remained behind " ! If she could but have 
seen Mr Davey's huri-y and excitement iu the other room while he 
was preparing the message on one of her own slates ! 

In the second place, there is not the slightest indication, in any one 
of the three rejDorts, that the slates were separated during the experi- 
ment after they had once been placed together, yet they were not only 
separated, but the separation was used for the purpose of substituting 
a third slate for one of the two cleaned for the experiment. (All three 
slates, I believe, had been marked at the beginning of the sitting, but 
no special markings were made for this particular experiment.) 

We may now turn to the other cases where this particular ti'ick 
was performed, and notice certain variations in the details. In Sitting 
I., the reader will easily be able now to sujjply the omission made by 
the two recorders ; the top slate was removed and the third slate sub- 
stituted in a mamier similar to that described above. But in this case 
Mr. Davey wrote on the slate before the sitting began. Mr. R. took 
three slates to the sitting, and he states that there " could not 
possibly " have been " any tampering " with them, " as during the 
whole seance they never for one moment left the room." This last 
assertion is true, but Mr. R.. gives 7.30 p.m. as the time of his going 
to Mr. Davey's house, and the sitting did not Ijegin till 8.30 p.m. In 
the meantime Mr. Davey had taken one of Mr. R.'s slates and Mr. 
R.'s box of chalks also into another room, and written upon the slate, 
and rubbed away the corners of some of the fragments of chalk and 
pencil, and brought them back to the room. What occasion was there 
for the intending sitters to watch their slates then ? The sitting had 
not beg-un, and besides, Mr. Davey had, let us say, given them some 
interesting curios or remarkable photographs to examine while he ex- 
cused himself for a few moments. Later on, the sitting begins. Mr. 
Davey takes the parcel of slates : " Ah ! these are your slates, Mr. R. 
Very glad you've brought your own slates. If anything comes, 
you see, it's so much more satisfactory. We'll try first if we can get 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

any writing on one of your own single slates. Better clean it 
thoroughly," at the same time holding up the top slate for Mr. E,. 
to take, and of course he takes it. The slate upon which Mr. Davey 
has written is the lower one of the remaining two, the writing being 
on the under surface ; and these two slates remain on the table in full 
view while the experiments with the single slate are in progress. This 
important lower slate, however, becomes completely forgotten, tempo- 
rarily at least, when the sitters are preparing the other two slates for 
the second form of experiment, at which time, had there been any 
need, Mr. Davey might have written upon it again. Hence Mr. 
Davey's note to this sitting that " although Mr. R.'s slates did 
not leave the room during the stance, one of them was left unguarded 
on the table on one occasion for about sixty seconds." As a matter 
of fact, however, as Mr. Davey assured me, he wrote upon this slate 
before the sitting began. 

The next instance of this " manifestation " occurs in Sitting IV"., 
held in my rooms ; Mr. Padshah had taken three new slates, but had 
left them in my rooins while he made a call upon some friends. In the 
meanwhile Mr. Davey arrived, and used the opportunity to write on 
one of Mr. Padshah's slates, which he then placed at the bottom. 
When we were ready for the sitting, Mr. Padshah having returned, 
Mr. Davey began by passing round his locked slate for insjjection, 
cleaning, (fee. He then took the top one of Mr. Padshah's slates for 
trials with a single slate held under the table, leaving the two other 
slates in the middle of the table. Later on, in the midst of experi- 
ments with the single slate, he lifted the top slate of these two, placed 
some coloured chalks on the lower one, and placed the other slate again 
on top. The other important movements I may give in the words of 
my friend, Mr. J. Russell, who saw them. He had not been initiated 
into the modus operandi, but he did know definitely and positively 
that Mr. Davey's performances were not " mediumistic," and he was 
acquainted with the object of Mr. Davey's investigations. Mr. Russell 
is naturally an exceptionally keen observer, and he noticed and re- 
corded the important trick-movements, of which there is no mention in 
the reports of the other two uninitiated witnesses. I therefore add his 
testimony to my own. Mr. Russell writes in his report : — ■ 

In the meantime, Mr. Davey had once more examined the two slates 
where the coloured chalks were, but finding notliing, had jDlaced them side by 
side, and cai-elessly, as if in a fit of absent-mindedness, had taken the chalks 
from the slate which had been at the bottom, and placed them on the other. 
He had then put them together as before, except that the original position of 
the slates was reversed, the old bottom one being now at the top, and the old 
top one at the bottom. Presently, asking Mr. Padshah if in a former sitting 
with Eglinton the medium had not got some writing on his shoulder, he took 
up the two slates and placed them on Mr. Padshah's shoulder, but in less 

Mr. Daveys Imitations by Conjuring, &c. 


than a minute took them off, reversing them as he did so, and replaced them 
on the table. The old bottom slate was now once more at the bottom, and 
the old top one at the top, but each slate had been reversed, so that the two 
sides whicli had originally been turned to the table were now turned ujd. In 
a few minutes Mr. Davey had a sort of convulsion, Mr. Hodgson and Mr. 
Hughes said they heard sounds like writing, the slates were opened, and 
there, on the lower one, was a message, half in green, half in red (nearly 
the colours chosen by Mr. Padshah and my wife), expressing a hope that we 
should be satisfied with writing given thus, under such excellent test con- 

ISTow, from the point of view of the psychologist analysing the value 
of human testimony, I regard Mr. Padshah's reports as in several 
respects the most instructive of the whole series. Mr. Padshah's mind 
is pre-eminently clear and sincere, and his report, written immediately 
after the sitting, is an excellent expression of the effects produced upon 
him. We can see, so to speak, a piece of wonderful testimony (as 
regards this particular manifestation) in the act of making, hut not made. 
Describing the commencement of the sitting, Mr. Padshah wrote : — 

There was full light on every corner of the table ; two of my (?) slates, 
one washed by myself, the other by Mr. Davey, were put very nearly in the 
centre with a number of small chalk-pieces between them of different colours. 

Later on, in discussing this manifestation, Mr. Padshah wrote : — 

I confess I do not remember, even after such a brief lapse of time, whetlier 
I had examined the two slates not washed by me, and found them unwritten. 
I imagine I must have, for otherwise it would be very stupid. 

Here, in the first place, we see that while Mr. Padshah's memory told 
him at the commencement of his report that one of these two slates had 
been washed by himself, his memory told him, apparently, a short time 
later that neither of these slates had been washed by himself. This, at 
least, seems to be the fair inference from his words. But the next 
point, concerning the examination of the slates, is more important.. 
He imagines, he says, that he must liave examined the slates, " foi- 
otherwise it would be very stupid." In the case of ninety-nine out 
of a hundred hand fide witnesses the statement in their report would 
not have taken this form. Their imagination that they must have 
examined the slates would have usurped the place of their failing 
remembrance, and they would have written, with perfect sincerity,, 
" I examined the two slates and found them perfectly clean." 

The same general method was employed in Sittings V., VI., VII.,, 
IX., XII., and XV., the slates being Mr. Davey's, and the communica- 
tions having been prepared beforehand, and I think that the reader 
will have no difficulty now in supplying the omissions which vitiate the 
records. The choice of colours and the transcription of passages from 
books chosen by the sitters, and the writing in foreign languages, I- 
shall consider later. 


Mr. R. Hodgson, 

In Sitting VIII. the word Yes was found on the upper surface of the 
lower of two of the sitters' slates held together. This word was written 
on the top of one of the sitter's slates while the sitter was glancing over 
the books on the shelves for the purpose of choosing one for the locked- 
slate experiment. I saw Mr. Davey write it on the slate, as the slate 
lay on tlie middle of the table, and then turn the slate over. This slate 
afterwards re;"iched the required position by the regular method. After 
this experiment came that of the locked slate, which was also a success, 
and while the sitt:"r was wondering over the locked-slate message, Mr. 
Davey took one of his slates into another room and covered one side of 
it with Avriting. This interva,l the sitter speaks of parenthetically as a 
" momentary absence." After Mr. Davey "s return the two-slate experi- 
ment vras conducted in the regular way, and was indeed completed; but 
Mr. Davey got nervous, shuffled the slates out of position again, and 
hardly knew himself what had become of the writing. In trying to 
make up for this false move he slipped again, the sitter noticed a 
shuffle of the slates, seized them, and discovered the writing " before 
its time." 

As regards the " two-slate " incident which occurred in Sitting 
XYI., Mr. Davey informed me that before the sitting began, and while 
exchanging greetings in the ordinary manner, he undid the parcel con- 
taining the slates brought by Miss Symons, took out one of her slates, 
substituted fov it a new slate brought by himself, and tied up the 
parcel again, — all this with his back to the pai'cel so that his move- 
ments might be concealed from Mrs. Sidgwick and Miss Symons. He 
then left the room, ostensibly to fetch his own slates, &c., from another 
room, and while a))sent, wrote on the slate belonging to Miss Symons. 
Miss Symons herself carried the j^arcel, now containing Mr. Davey's 
slate, to the seance table Avithout, of course, noticing anything wrong. 
Her slate, with Avriting on it, was placed among Mr. Davey's own 
slates, and, wlicn the time came, in the course of the two-slate experi- 
ment, Avas re-substituted openly, as described in detail by Mrs. SidgAvick 
in the folloAving account, Avhich Avas written the da,y after the experi- 
ment, and before she kncAv hoAv and when the trick Avas done. (The 
footnotes are a later addition.) 

Miss Symons had brought two common slates and a locked one. Mr. 
Davey had also slates witli hiiu of various shapes ; one of them with round 
•corners as Miss Symons's had, and some with square corners. Miss Symons's 
two slates^ Avere held together on the table and under the table by her and 
Mr. Davey. Then one of Mr. Davey's square-cornered slates was substi- 
tuted for one of tliein, then again removed, and the two round-cornered ones^ 

1 This is, of course, a mistake. It was the two slates out of the parcel, but one 
•of these Avas really Mr. Davey's. 

- Really Miss Symons's this time. 

il/r. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, <L:c. 207 

again held, on tlie ground that though it might be easier to get writing one 
Mr. Davey'g wlate, it would be more satisfactory to get it on Miss Symons's. 
We waited a considerable time. Mr. Davey asked me to draw the curtains 
between the two rooms. Then we sat as before, the two slates on one 
another on the table, and oi'.r h;inds on tliem. The sound of writing was 
heard, and presently on lijoking between the two slates, one of them was 
found to be written on all over one side. I cannot remember every detail 
of what occurred, but the impression produced on my mind most distinctly 
was, that one of Miss Symons's slates had been written on all over one side, 
and that there had been no possible opportunity for Mr. Davey to have 
done this. 

Y/e now come to the experiments with the locked slate. In addition 
to the two similar locked slates of small size which I have already 
mentioned, Mr. Davey had some other similar locked slates o£ large size, 
of the Faber make. One of these is represented in Proceedinys, Vol. 
IV., pp. 466, 467. My impression is that he had three similar slates of 
the large pattern. He most frequently, however, used the smaller size, 
described by Mr. H. Y^. S. in Sitting XI., as " composed of two 
ordinary pieces of slate, about six by four inches, mounted in ebony 
covers hinged on one side with two strong plated hinges, and closed in 
front, beyond the question, of a doubt, with a Chatv^^ood's patent lock." 
Let us call these two locked slates A and B, and suppose tha,t A is the 
first locked slate exhibited. I shall now describe in detail the locked 
slate incident in Sitting II. Mrs. Y.'s account of this is as follows : — 

He gave me a locked slate of his own, wliich I thoroughly vrashed and 
locked myself, and put the key in my own pocket. We then joined hands, 
and Mr. Davey and my daugliter placed one hand each on the slate as it was 
lying on top of the table. Different questions were asked, and we waited 
some time, but no response came. Mr. Davey seemed to me very much 
exhausted, and I urged him to desist from any further efforts. But he 
seemed loth to do this, and said he would rest a little while, and would then, 
perhaps, be able to go on. After a short time of conversation, the slates all 
the while being in full view and carefully watched by me, Ave again tried it, 
under the same conditions as before, only that this time Mr. Davey requested 
us each to take a book at random from the shelves in the room, and mentally 
think of two numbers representing a page and a line, and he would see if he 
could reproduce it. This also failed of any result, and Mr. Davey said he 
feared he was too tired to produce anything, as he had been very much 
exhausted by a long and xevj successful seance the night before. We again 
begged him to desist, but after a short rest ... he insisted on another 
trial. The slates still remained all the time in full view on the table. Mr. 
Davey asked my daughter to choose another book, which she did at random, 
he having his back to her and standing at some distance while she did it. 
This book was at once tied up and sealed by one of the party, Mr. Davey 
never touching it from first to last. I then held it in my lap, while we 
joined hands as before, and Mr. Davey and my daughter each put one hand 
on the slate. Still nothing came. Then we changed positions, and I placed 


3Ir. B. Hodgson. 

my hand on the slate instead of my daughter, giving her the book to hold. 
During this change slie kept her hand on the slate until I had jjlaced 
mine beside it, and the book was awaiting her on the opposite side of 
the table, my husband all the while holding Mr. Davey's other hand. I 
am confident that Mr. Davey could not possibly have manipulated the slate 
during this change, f(jr it was in full sight all the while, and our hands 
were on it, and the book was tied and sealed on the opposite side of the 
table. A few minutes after this readjustment Mr. Davey seemed to have 
a sort of electric shock pass through him, the perspiration started out in 
great drojjs on his forehead, and the hand that was touching mine quivered 
as with a nervous sj^asm. At once we heard tlie pencil in tlie slate moving, 
and in a few moments Mr. Davey asked me to unlock the slate. My 
daughter took tlie key out of her pocket and lianded it across the table 
to me, and I unlocked the slate, and found it covered on both the inner sides 
with writing. When read, this writing proved to be a sort of essay or exhorta- 
tion on the subject of jisychical research, with quotations from the book 
chosen intermingled througliout. I forgot to say that Mr. Davey had asked 
us all to choose in our minds two numbers under ten to represent a page and 
a line of the book, but liad finally concentrated his thought on what my hus- 
band was thinking. In the writing there were quotations from every page 
we had any of us thought of, but not always the line ; but in the case of my 
husband the line was correct, but not tlie page. He had thought of page 8, 
line 8. Tlie line was quoted from page 3, and Mr. Davey said this confusion 
between 8 and 3 frequently occurred, because of the similarity of the 
numbers. This test seeuied to me perfect. The slate was under my own eye 
on top of the table the whole time, and either my daughter's hand or my own 
Avas placed firmly upon it without the intermission of even a second. More- 
over, we closed and oijened it ourselves. 

This sitting was held in my rooms in the evening. In the morning 
Mr. Davey came to my rooms, and re-arranged some of my books. Pie 
placed a series of greyish-white books (chiefly Cambridge University 
Calendars) on a shelf easy of access, and in the middle of therti he put 
a volume of selections from Mrs. Browning's poems after first copying- 
some phrases from it. This book had a blue binding with gilt lettering 
on the Ijack. The communication afterwards found by the sitter em- 
bodying these phrases from the book, I saw Mr. Davey then and there 
in the morning write in the locked slate. At the first trial of this 
experiment, the volume of Mrs. Browning was not chosen. No result, 
therefore, was obtained. At the next trial Miss Y. chose the required 
book. Now, Mrs. Y. states that Mr. Davey had his l)ack to her 
daughter and was "standing at some distance wliile she did it." Mr. Y. 
also says, " My daughter, leaving him at the table, replaced on the 
shelves the hook she had first taken down, and took at random a copy 
of Mrs. Browning's poems." Miss Y.'s own account of this part of 
the incident is also jDositive : — ■ 

We sat as before around the table, discussing the failure of the experi- 
ment. Finally Mr. Davey started up and said, ' ' We must try it with one 

Mr. Davey's Imitations hy Conjuring, <i:e. 269 

book alone. Will you choose one, Miss ? " I supposed that he asked me 

to do it because my seat was nearest to the bookcase. I got up and went to 
the bookcase. Mr. Davey stood by the table with his back to me. That 
latter fact I feel as if I remember most distinctly. I mention it to show 
that I chose my book at random and was not influenced in my choice by him. 

As a matter of fact Mr. Davey escorted Miss Y. up to the book- 
case and led her, as it were, up to the very shelf where the required 
book, in bright contrast to its dingy neighbours, was " forcing " itself 
to be chosen. " Choose a book, any book, take any book at random," — 
with a wave of the hand in front of the special shelf, and Miss Y., quite 
naturally, reached out her hand and took the book that "fixed" her 
gaze. I gave in my previous notes what I thought was the probable 
explanation of the agreement of all the witnesses in the erroneous 
statement that Miss Y. went alone to the bookcase to choose her book. 
After the writing had been produced in the locked slate, Mr. Y. asked 
Miss Y. if she had gone alone to the bookcase, and she replied that she 
had, and that Mr. Davey had remained by the table with his back 
towai'ds her. I conjectured also that Miss Y.'s lapse of memory was an 
instance of transposition, that she remembered correctly Mr. Davey's 
xictions, but connected them wrongly with her second choice of a book 
instead of with her first. 

By the " forcing " of this book the first step in the trick was per- 
formed. The next step was to substitute locked slate B for A. But 
the sitters were very careful, as the reader may notice from the 
■accounts of their actions when Mr. Davey suggested that Miss Y. 
should change places with her mother. Miss Y. kej^t her hand upon 
the slate as she walked round the table, and correctly says that she 
■did not relax her hold of the slate till her mother had her hand upon 
it. Nevertheless the time came when Mr. Davey did substitute B for 
A. But there is no mention whatever, in Mrs. Y.'s report, of the cir- 
cumstances which enabled Mr. Davey to perform the substitution. 
Nor is there any mention whatever of these circumstances in Mr. Y.'s 
report. They are mentioned, however, in the report of Miss Y. 

Mr. Davey asked us each to think of two numbers as before. Finally he 
tisked us to write them down on a slate. I wrote mine on one of our own 
slates so that he could not possibly see what I liad written, and I placed it 
on the table away from Mr. Da-\"ey, and leaned my elbow on it. I think the 
■others did the same with the other slates. To my remembrance, some of us 
watched the locked slate all the time while we were writing. 

Miss Y.'s remembrance, about which she was apparently not sure, 
is not coiTect. At this juncture all the sitters forgot the locked slate 
and left it unguarded on the table. My impression is that all the 
sitters left tbe table, Mr. Davey having so candidly remarked that they 
must not let him see the numbers they wrote^ and not let him even se© 


Mr. R. HuJgson. 

the movements of the end of the pencil. I then saw Mr. Davey with 
the help of his duster (see p. 258) sul)stitute locked slate B for A. 
I may meutit)n that Mr. Davey gave a plausible reason for desiring the 
sitters to write their numbers down, viz., that a previous sitter had 
forgotten the numbers which he had finally chosen, and therefore could' 
not tell whether the passages quoted in the writing were according tO' 
the chosen numbers or not, 

In Sittings I., III., V., VIII., IX., and XV. the modus operandi 
will iiosv be obA'ious. In each case the communication was prepared 
beforehand, and an opportunity was given for the substitution of B' 
for A. 

In connection with Sitting IV. it is iKite^'orthy that Mr. Padshah, 
who was not perfectly satisfied that he had taken due precautions in 
examining the two single slates, and in seeing that all the surfaces were 
clean, did l^ecome absolutely convinced that the locked-slate writing, if 
not produced by chemical means, was " undoubtedly genuine." Mr. 
Davey, as he had done for Sitting II., came to my rooms in the morn- 
ing, and i^laced in a " forcing " position, "svith the neutrally tinted 
numbei's of the periodical Mind in its neighbourhood, Bastian's volume 
on The Brain as an Organ of Mind, a bright red book of the Intei'na- 
tional Scientific Series. Mr. Davey wrote on the locked slate in my 
j^resence the communication afterwards found there by Mr. Padshah, 
including the words, " The Brain an Organ of Mind." When asked to 
choose a book Mr. Padshah finally chose (ment;dly) the periodical Mind, 
aftei' having thought both of Tlie Brain as an Organ of Mind and of 
International Laiv. Mr. Padshah's conclusion about this experiment! 
was that it is "evident that Mr. Davey must have minutely studied the 
time it takes for complete precipitation ; or that the whole precipitation 
takes place simultaneously ; or that the phenomenon is undoubtedly 
genuine. The theory of writing without a chemical and then bam- 
boozling me would be really contemptible." As I pointed out in my 
contemporary notes to this sitting, Mr. Padshah did nevertheless lose 
perception of the slate A for a short time, and during this interval Mr. 
Davey substituted B. 

In Sitting VI. a double substitution was made. The sitter wrote a 
question in A. Mi\ Davey substituted B, opened A, read the question 
and answered it, and re-substituted it again. Mr. Davey's usual method 
in these cases was to take A out of the room for the jiurpose of reading 
and answeiing the question. Later on, the su])stitution was made again 
for another experiment, B having been prepared beforehand, and the 
book to be chosen by the sitter jDlaced in a forcing " jjosition. 

Sitting X. was with a Japanese gentleman, and the locked slate used 
was of the large size. The first locked-slate experiment involved! 
merely a simple substitution. This was all that was iiiA'olved in the 

Mr. Davcys Imitations hy Coiij wring, cCr. 271 

second locked-slate experiment also. The Japanese pai't of the 
message was easily enough obtained. Mr. Davey had met the sitter 
before and had obtained some information about him. He then went 
to the "Japanese Village" on exhibition in London, and for a con- 
sideration procured the services of an interpreter in translating and 
writing in Japanese on the locked slate the communication which Mr. 
Davey provided in English. The sitter says : " Once more I locked the 
double-slate . . . and put the key in my pocket and even sealed it 
myself." Mr. Davey suggested the sealing, but he substituted the 
second locked slate for the first before the sealing took place. (Com- 
pare Ztillner's experiment with Slade. Mrs. Sidgwick sujiposes that 
Slade substituted for two slates put together by ZoUner two other slates 
upon which he — Slade — had just written. Journal 8.P.R., December, 
1886, p. 481. This case of Mr. Davey's is exactly parallel.) 

In Sitting XI. there was a double substitution in experiment [a]. 
In experiment [e] there was a single substitution. Expei'iment [cZ] is 
described by the sitter as follows : — - 

Lastly, as requested by Mr. Davey, I took a coin from my pocket with- 
out looking at it, placed it in an envelope and sealed it up. I am certain 
that neither Mr. Davey nor myself knew anything about the coin. I then 
placed it in the book-slate together with a piece of pencil, closed it as 
previously and deposited it un the table ; and having placed my hands with 
those of Mr. Davey on the upper surface of the slate, waited a short time. 
I then unlocked the slate as requested, and to my intense amazement 1 found 
the date of the coin written, by the side of the envelope containing it. 

The seal and envelope (which I have now) remained intact. 

I do not recall with certainty what the coin was. Let us suppose it 
was a shilling. Mr. Davey beforehand vvrote the date of a shillmg of his 
own in locked-slate A, placed this shilling in an envelope and sealed it 
up, and placed this envelope also in locked-slate A, which at the begin- 
ning of the experiment he had concealed about his person. He then 
requested the sitter to take a shilling from his pocket without looking 
at it, to place it in an envelope and seal it up, place it in the locked- 
slate (B), etc. The sitting was at Mr. Davey's house, and Mr. Davey 
provided the envelope, fi-om the same packet, of course, as the one 
already containing Mr. Davey's shilling in locked-slate A. The sitter 
was requested not to look at his coin, ostensibly, I believe, on the 
ground of precluding thought-transfei'ence, but really so that the sitter 
might not know the difFei-ence between his own coin and Mr. Davey's. 
It is now plain that all the dexterity required in this experiment was 
a simple substitution. 

In the locked-slate experiment described in Sitting XII. there was 
a douijle substitution. In the first locked-slate experiment in Sitting- 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

XIII. there was a double substitution. For the second there was a 
single substitution. 

Mrs. Sidgwick has furnished the following account of the locked- 
slate experiment in Sitting XV, : — ' 

We then [after the writing of the word Melbourne] again sat at the 
table, Miss Symons next to Mr. Davey. She now took charge of the locked 
slate, which at this period was examined and was blank. [Then follows the 
account of obtaining the message with the SjDanish sentence in it.] It was 
not easy to read, and while we were engaged in deciphering it Mr. Davey 
was still gasping and suffering apparently from the efiects of the effort. He 
wandered restlessly about the room, with convulsive movements, &c. After 
a time he seemed better, and we determined to try another experiment. 
A book was chosen out of Mr. Podmore's bookshelf and laid on the table 
imder our hands, and Miss Symons and Mr. Davey sat next each other, this 
time holding the locked slate. 

The locked slate was unguarded while we were poring over the first long 
message, and there was plenty of time and opportunity then eitlier to 
substitute another similar one or to write the message. Moreover, the book 
chosen was the one wished for by Mr. Davey. He made various objections 
and suggestions till I perceived that for some reason he wanted that one and 
chose it. I tried at fii'st to choose a small book because I wanted the trick 
to succeed, and fancied it would be done by holding the book on the slate 
inider the table and opening it there. Whether I should have been conscious 
•of acting on anything but my vniaided impulse [in choosing the large book] 
if 1 had not wanted to help Mr. Davey [by choosing a small one] I do not 

I shall now desciilje the method of producing writing on the interior 
surfaces of common slates screwed and corded toajether and the knots 
of the coi'ds sealed. For accounts of this experiment see Sittings XIII. 
and XIV. I quote here the account given in Sitting XIII. 

I now took the two new slates which I had purchased, and which had 
never for a moment passed out of my jjossession, I even taking the pre- 
caution of sitting on them during the foregoing proceedings. I placed a 
piece of red crayon therein, and screwed them down top and bottom so 
tiglitly that by no possibility could even the tliin edge of a penknife l)e 
introduced. I then corded the slates twice across and across, sealing them in 
two places with red and blue wax (for, of course, any attempt to remove the 
seals by heat would cause the colours to fuse, and thus immediately detect 
the artifice), stamjDing them with my own private signet. Mr. Davey ijlaced 
the slates under the table, and requested me to name some word I would 
like written. I stipulated for "April." After a few minutes, during which I 
most carefully watched liim, he returned them, and after 10 minutes' work, 
•SO tightly were they closed, I found exactly what I had desired. 

After perusal of above, considering tliat the expression, "I 
found exactly what I desired," might be liable to a possible misconstruction, 
I think it better to add that I state in the most unequivocal, exi^licit, and 

Mr. Daveys Imitations hy Conjuring, d-c. 273 

emphatic manner, that after Mr. Davey had returned me my two slates, 
secured as above described, and which I most carefully and minutely ex- 
amined to detect any signs of tampering, finding, however, my seals intact 
and the cording and screws in exactly the same condition as when they left 
my possession a few moments before, and that the word "April," which I 
had asked for, was legibly written with the crayon, on one of the inside 
surfaces. Whether the top or bottom I did not observe. The apparently 
impossible having thus been solved as I hereby testify. 

The sitter might also have sealed the screw-heads without preventing 
the performance of the trick.' Mr. Davey takes the slates thus prepared 
and places them in a horizontal position between his right leg and the 
adjoining leg of the table. He holds them in that position by the pres- 
sure of his right leg. He then takes from his hip pocket a wedge with 
a fairly sharp edge for insertion, but with the other edges smoothened 
so as to avoid indenting the frames i:)f the slates. I think that the 
wedge that Mr. Davey used was made of brass, and was somewhat 
more than two inches long and about half an inch wide. He forces 
this wedge Ijetween the frames of the two slates at a point farthest from 
the screws. Thus if the screws are on the top and bottom of the slates, 
he forces the wedge in at the middle of one of the sides. There is 
enough elasticity in the frames and the cords to prevent any injury to 
the frames or the cords or the seals. An opening a quarter of an inch 
wide is easily produced in this way. Lea^-ing the wedge in position he 
takes from the hip of his trousers, where it has been fixed by the 
insertion of its ends in two small rubber loops, a piece of an umbrella 
I'od, say seven or eight inches long, in the end of which is fastened a 
piece of pencil or chalk. This he inserts through the aperture produced 

^ 111 this connection the following extract from an account of a seance by Mr. T. 
O. Roberts, whom Mr. Davey cliaractei'ises as " without exception the keenest witness 
I have ever met," may be of interest. The stance took place on April 23rd, 1887, 
later than any recorded in Mr. Davey's paper in Proceedings, Part IV. Mr. Roberts 
■was, I beUeve, aware that Mr. Davey was a conjurer. 

Mr. Roberts "purchased two common slates with wooden frames (Sin. x Sin.) and 
rounded corners." He continues : — 

I cleaned the slates myself and placed a small piece of grey chalk . . . between 
the slates, which I then i^laced together, noting which were the inner surfaces by a 
f)rinted heading at the top of each ; I next drilled six holes through the frames, one at 
each end, and two at either side, into which I drove six screws, these tightly binding 
the two slates together, place ! my seal on the head of each screw, then bound the 
slates with thick cord and sealed the ends after tying the final knot. 

When I handed the slates, thus prepared, to Mr. Davey, he told me that the test 
was too severe, and that he did not think that it would be possible to produce the 
writing under such circumstances, but expressed his willingness to try. 

Operations commenced by his placing the slates under the flap or leaf of the table 
near the corner, supported by the fingers of his right hand while his thumb rested on 
the table ; with my right hand I held his left above the table and with my left I assisted 
in supporting the weight of the slates in the same manner as adopted by him. 

Air. R. Hodgson. 

by the %yedge, and writes the vrords required. He withdraws the rod 
and the Avedge, replaces them in their private receptacles, and brings 
the slate above the table. 

The writing or drawing produced under an inverted tumbler placed 
on a slate on top of the table is described in several accounts. (Sittings 
I., II., and XVI.) The following is Mrs. Y.'s account of this experi- 
ment in Sitting II. : — ■ 

He placed one of our slates on tln-ee little china salt-cellars that lifted it 
up about an inch from the table. Upon tlie middle of this he placed several 
pieces of different coloured chalks, and covered them with a tumbler. Then 
he told my husband to form a mental picture of some figure he wished to 
have drawn on the slate luider the glass, and to name aloud the colour he 
would have it drawn in. He thought of a cross, and chose aloud the blue 
colour. I suggested that Ijlue was too dark to be easily seen, and asked him 
to take white, which he agreed to. We sat holding hands and watching the 
pieces of chalk under the tumbler. No one was touching the slate this time, 
not even Mr. Davey. In a few minutes Mr. Davey was again violently 
agitated as witli an electric shock, which went through him from head to foot, 
and immediately afterv/ards we saw, with our own eyes, each one of us, the 
pieces of chalk under the glass Ijegin to move slowly, and apparently to walk 
of their own accord across the space of the slate under the tumbler. My 
husband had said just before that if the piece of red chalk inider that 
tumbler moved, he would give his head to anyone who wanted it, so sure 
was he that it could not possibly move. The first piece of chalk that began 
to walk about was that very red piece I Then the blue and white moved 
simultaneously, as though uncertain which was the one desired. It was 
utterly astounding to all of us to see these pieces of chalk thus walking about 
under the glass with no visible agency to move them ! All the while Mr. 

The word selected by me to app;ar lietween the slates was " Parnell." 

After remaining in this position for some fifteen minvites, during which time I 
watched his hand most carefully, and thwarted what appeared to me to be his several 
devices for diverting my attention, he informed me he could not produce the writinc/ 
unless I allowed him to cake the slates out of the rjom, ! 

To this I assented, feeling that I was beginning to expose his inability to rival the 
"spirit-mediums" if only ordinary watchfulness were exercised. While these and 
similar thoughts crossed my mind, the door opened, he returned with the slates, having 
only been absent from the room .3 minutes. I then examined the slates most carefully, 
and I solemnly assert that my seals were intact in every case and that the slates were 
bolted together so tightly that it would have been impossible to introduce even the 
blade of a penknife between them, while my cord round them was as tight as when it 
left my hands, and the sealed ends were undisturbed. 

The task of unscrewing the slates, &c., occupied several minutes, and this I per- 
formed myself, when I confess, greatly to my surprise, that the word " Parnell " was 
clearly and distinctly written on the inner surface of the lower slate. This I was at a 
loss to account for, especially as the piece of chalk that was enclosed had no sign of 
friction whatever uiJon it, this being evident at a glance, as the ends thereof had been 
nev/ly broken. 

I neither know nor pretend to understand how this trick is done, but I congratu- 
late Mr. Davey on the celerity displayed by him, and the skill he undoubtedly 

Mr. Daveys Imitations by Conjuring, tCr. 


Davey, whose hands were held on one side by myself and on the other side 
by my husband, seemed to be on a great nervous strain, with hot hands and 
great beads of perspu-ation. Wlien the chalks stopped moving, we lifted the 
tumbler, and there was a cross, partly blue and partly v/hite, and a long red 
line marking the path taken by the red chalk I We were impressed by this 
test beyond the power of words to declare. The test conditions were perfect, 
and the whole thing took jjlace tuider our eyes on top of the table v.'ith no- 
hands of anybody near the slate. 

The ostensible reason for jjlacing the slate on the salt-cellars was:- 
that the slate might be insulated, so that the explanation of "electri- 
city "' might not be offered ! Mr. Davey has a fine silk thread attached 
to one end of a button on his waistcoat. To the other end is fixed a 
small piece of red wax, which except v/hen in use in the exjjeriment 
is in his j)Ocket together with the slack of the siik thread. While 
placing the slate on the salt-cellars with his left hand he takes the piece 
of wax between the fingers of his right hand, picks up with these 
same fingers some pieces of chalk, — moves his right hand forward to 
the other side of the slate — not yet placed iir position — so that the 
thread shall be under the slate when the slate is placed on the salt- 
cellars. He then places the slate in position, brings his hand down 
from the far side of the slate and places the pieces of chalk and the 
23iece of wax on the middle of the slate, and places the inverted tumbler 
over them. But while he is making a little heap of the chalks on the 
middle of the slate, befoi'e placing the tumbler in position, he also- 
draws a figure (or a number, as the case may be) that he thinks the 
sitter is most likely to choose. He draws this, of course, very rapidly 
and dexterously, and he arranges the chalks over it so as to conceal it. 
Further, he has placed the piece of wax on the side of the heap which 
is nearest to himself. He now takes his place very carefully so that 
the thread, the length of which has been well calculated, shall not be 
tightened too soon. The reader will now see that by withdrawing his 
body from the table, Mr. Davey can finally cause the wax to move in 
the opposite dii'ection, i.e., away from himself, and through, so to speak, 
the little group of chalk fragments, producing a movement in them 
also. The tumbler is then lifted in excitement, usually by Mr. Davey,, 
the slate is inspected, and a figure discovered. In the meantime JMr. 
Davey gives a jerk to the thread, moves away from the table, and 
gathers the wax and thread once more into his pocket. 

There are several minor details of Mr. Davey 's performances ^^•hich 
hardly need explaining. Thus many of the sitters describe the j^ieces 
of pencil or chalk as being worn at the conclusion of bai experiment. 
Usually they would have been found ecjually worn at the beginning of 
the expei-iment had the attention of the sitters been then called 
to them. Sometimes, indeed, they were not worn at the beginning, 
but Mr. Davey then took care to substitute v>'orn pieces before the 


Mr. 11. Hodgson. 

"writing was produced. Thei*e are several specific cases (Sittings I., 
IX., and XIII.) where the pencil was found resting at the end of the 
message. These were in locked-slate experiments. Mr. Davey had 
■chosen and placed the pencil so that when the slate (to be substituted) 
was closed, the pencil did not move when the slate was shaken. When 
the slate was carefully opened, right side up, the pencil was found 
Avhere Mr. Davey had placed it. 

After the foregoing explanations I believe that the reader will find 
little difiiculty in explaining to himself Mr. Davey's modus operandi in 
most of the experiments in the series of sittings with him recorded in 
Vol. IV. of our Proaedings. But I shall give the details of a few 
other cases where either possibly the reader may still be unable to see 
the exact method used, or where a special additional trick was in- 

In Sitting III. occurs the following description : — 

Tlie next experiment was the x^lacing of 3 bits of coloured chalk on the 
table, and of a clean slate (selected and placed by myself) over them. I put 
my hand on the slate, Davey his on mine, and we joined contact. Again we 
heard the sound of writing, and when I lifted the slate there was written 
large and neatly in the coloured chalks (tliree lines or so in each colour) this 
message ; — "Don't you think I've done enough for you to-night I'm tired 
•Joey." I noticed the chalks seemed worn, showing signs of work, just like 
tlie little bit of pencil in tlie previous experiment. 

Mr. Davey very rarely used the " trick slate," but the case 
•described above was one instance of its use. The slate was neither 
selected nor placed by the sitter. Mr. Davey first placed some coloured 
nibs of chalk on the table just in front of the sitter. He then took 
■one of his own slates which the sitter had not touched, and apjjarently 
sponged both sides thoroughly. Mr. Davey himself then placed the 
slate over the pieces of chalk, and asked the sitter to place his hand 
upon the slate. The sitter then for the first time touched the slate. 
The slate used in this case had a false flap, which fitted the frame. On 
the surface of the slate itself, under this fla}?, was a prepared communi- 
cation. The exterior surface of the flap resembled the exterior surface 
■of the true slate. The interior surface of the flap was covered with a 
piece of blotting-paper which bore marks of use in the form of casual 
Ijlots and lines, itc. On the table in close juxtaposition lay a pile of 
blotting-paper, the top of which was also marked by casual blots, &c. 
This blotting-paper was there for the ostensible purpose of drying the 
slates. Mr. Davey took the slate with false flap uppermost, and sponged 
the exterior surface of the flap. He then turned the slate over on top 
of the blotting-paper, and sponged the other surface of the slate. He 
then lifted the slate and placed it above the chalks, leaving the false 

Mr. Daveys Imitations by Conjuring, d-c, 277 

flap behind upon the pile of blotting-paper, but with the blotting-papei- 
side of it uppermost. The sitter was watching the slate " with all his 
eyes," but, of course, saw nothing which it was undesirable that he 
should see. " The chalks seemed worn," as the sitter says, but then 
the sitter did not examine the chalks beforehand, or he would have 
found them equally worn then. 

There are two reports of Sitting VII., and I may refer to an 
experiment where the reports differ in a very important point. Mr. 
V.'s report is : — 

The medium tore off half a sheet of letter-pai)er bearing the address of 
his house ; this he gummed to the surface of an ordinary slate, a fragment 
of lead pencil was put on the paper, and the slate then transferred beneath 
the table-flap, and held by Mr. P. and the medium. Writing immediately 
audible. At our request the slate was exposed before it had ceased. To the 
best of my remembrance the slate could not have been beneath tlie table-flap 
for more than 20 seconds. On examination Ave found the following- messao'e 
written in a hand which bore a much greater resemblance to the medium's, 
than any of the otliers. 

Mr. M. writes :— 

Mr. Pinnock asked if we could not get the writing on a piece of paper 
instead of the slate. Mr. Davey said we might try, and tliereupon tore a 
sheet of writing-paper into two, and pasted one half on to a slate by the four 
corners ; he cut off a small piece of black lead from the end of a pencil, put 
it on the paper and covered the slate with another slate. Writing was heard 
at once, and we separated the slates and found the paper written over 
diagonally as in the case of the first slate. Tlie paper was not, however, 
quite full, and it looked as if the slates were sejiarated too soon, as tlie 
sentence was not finished. The writing was evidently written witli the point 
of the pencil. 

This experiment was actually " led up to " by Mr. Davey, who had 
already prepared the message, and who substituted the slate containing 
the prepared message by the two-single-slates method already described 
(p. 257). Mr. Davey also suggested that the slates should be examined 
before the sound as of writing had ceased. 

In her report of Sitting XVI. Miss Syiuous describes one experi- 
ment as follows : — • 

He took up 12 squares of paper, asked me to name any 12 animals I liked, 
whose names he wrote on the 12 squares of paper. These were shuffled 
together, and I was asked to choose one, which I was to glance at and tlien 
instantly to burn. Mr. Davey at the same time threw the other squares into 
the fire. I next wrote the first and last letters of the animal I had chosen on 
another piece of paper, this Mr. Davey burned in the gas, bared his arm and 
showed us that there was nothing written there, rubbed the ashes of the 
burnt paper over the bare arm, and presently what looked like letters became 
very faintly visible. Tliey did not, however, become sufficiently distinct to 
enable us to read them, and Mr. Davey said he would presently get the 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

.miinal's name written on a slate. . . . Before he left, Mr. Davey held a 
slate with nie under tlie table, and asked that the name of the animal 
Avritten on the slip of paper I liad chosen should be written on the slate. 
Writing was heard, the slate brought up, and I found "rhinoceros" — 
wrongly s^Jelt — in red chalk. This was correct, thougli how Mr. Davey 
k;new, or by what means the word was written, I have no idea, for the slate 
ajjpeared to me to be clean when we j^ut it under the taVjle. 

This, though not on this occasioji completely successful, is a very 
easy trick. Before the experiment, write on the arm, with a brush or 
a feather, in uric acid, the narne of an animal (or a flower, or a country, 
ttc.) likely to be one of twelve chosen. AVait till it dries. There 
is then no visible trace upon the arm. When the sitter names an 
animal, write, on the square of paper, the name that you have written 
upon your arm. Do the same with every piece of paper, no matter 
what animal the sitter names. The slip chosen afterwards l)y the 
sitter Y>dll necessarily contain the name written upon your arm. Rub 
the ashes of this paper upoir the arm, and the letters will " stand out " 
in the colour of the ash. I have performed this experiment myself 
successfully two or three Incurs after writing the name upon my arm. 
Tlie word " I'hinocoros " was already written on the slate when Mr. 
Davey placed it under the table, as Mrs. Sidgwick had good ground 
for stating, for Mr. Davey w^rote it openly in her presence and showed 
it to her while INIiss Symons was out of the room. 

Those who have read thus far, and who have taken pains to compare 
ray explanations not only v.-ith those accounts which I have re-qu(jted 
in this article, ljut with the reports as originally given in Vol. IV. of 
our Proceedings, will realise now, I trust, if they have }iot done so 
pi'eviously, the extreme imperfection of those repoi'ts, and therefore the 
great unreliability of a,ny testimony to the ordinary "slate-writing" 
performa.nces of professional mediums. The medium may leave the 
room, he may witlidi'aw a slate several times, he may separate slates 
placed together on the tal>le, and alter their respective positions, he 
may turn slates over together, and yet not one of these circumstances 
may jxppear in the report of the sitter. These points and others the 
student might easily have discovered for himself by comparing the 
-dilFerent rejDorts given of the same sittings by the uninitiated witnesses, 
and yet these points are ail of the most fundamental importance as 
regards the question of trickery. Thus in Sitting II. only one witness 
out (^f three refeivs to Mr. Davey 's leaving the I'oom, and only one 
witness out of three mentions the withdrawals of the slate before the 
writing Avas manifest. In Sitting IV. only one witness out of three 
records the separation of slates placed together on the table, &c. 
Furthei', in Sitting II. only one witness out of three records a highly 
important incident (the sitters' writing down on slates the numbers of 

il/")-. Davey's Imitations hy Conjuring, <l'C. 279 

which they were thinking), which v/as specially brought al^out by Mr. 
Davey for the express pui'pose of makiiig a substitution, and during 
T\4iich the substitution was actually made. 

Yet here I must confess that A\ liile it is gratifying to learn that 
Mr. Davey 's labours have been so successful in producing the conviction 
that his " manifestations " and those <^f certain professional mediums do 
actually belong to the same category, it is disappointing to find that 
the chief object of at least my own Introduction to Mr. Davey's investi- 
gation seems to have met with but little apjDreciation by Mr. Wallace 
and those whom he represents. I admitted that " there ai'e numerous 
records of 'psychographic' phenomena that have occurred with mediums 
(and also with Mr. Davey) which, as described, are inexplicable by 
trickery," and I endeavoured to show '•liov\^ far such records might be 
misdescriptions, and what were the chief causes of the misdescriptions." 
The notes to the records were made for the purpose of showing to 
investigators some of the important misdescriptions that actually oc- 
curred, and that are therefore to be expected in such records. Further, 
there were five sittings each of which was i-eported hy more than one 
witness, and opportunity was giveii to the student to discover for him- 
self, by a comparison of different reports <:)f the same sitting, numerous 
other instances of misdescription. Tlae question of primary importance 
concerns the value of human testimony under the circumstances in- 
volved. Why do we not accept such testimony? Because it is 
demonstrably fallible in precisely those particular points where it must 
be shown infallible before the iihenomena can be accepted as super- 
normal. I have already briefly adverted to some of the instances of 
this fallibility in the explanations v\-hich I have given of Mr. Davey's 
methods, but it seems to me needful to further empha^sise it in view of 
the fact that Mr. V/allace has been aisle to eiitertain the idea that 
Mr. Davey was a "medium." My purpose will, I think, be sufficiently 
conserved if I refer to one or two additional striking cases of dis- 
crepancies between reports of the same sittings. 

In Sitting I. a long message v/as obtained on the locked slate, but 
the message was incomplete, ending " We hope to." Mr. Davey ended 
the message purposely in this vray a;id afterwards " led up to " the 
request that the message might be concluded. In the meantime Mr. 
Davey had written the conclusion of the message on one of Mr. E.'s 
slates, which was lying on the table, writing downw-ards, ready for the 

Mr. R. writes as follows : — 

I desired after this to have the writing on the double slate of Mr. Davey's 
continued at the point where it had been broken off, and obtained this result 
on one of my slates which I held underneath the table and which began 
immediately. "We hope to see you again — Joey." I was also anxious to 


Mr. B. Hodgson. 

know what tlie VII signified as I have ah-eacly said before. On the first 
attempt we got the answer — " good-bye Joey " — but we were more success- 
ful on again putting the question, the result being a distinct " Sef)te " ; 

whether, as I have already said, it was intended for September I cannot tell. 

Mr. L.'s account is : — 

The writing having stopped so abruptly, two ordinary slates were placed 
upon the table in tlie manner before descril)ed, and it was asked by Mr. R. 
that the letter should be concluded. Within a jieriod of 15 seconds from the 
time of asking such question and after completing the circle with our hands, 
the words " to see you again, Joey," were written. 

The two slates were again placed in the same position as before, and Mr. 
R. having put an unimportant question, after the completion of the circle 
as before, I saw upon the slate " Good-bye, Joey " ; but on a second trial a 
scrawl was obtained which looked very much like "Sept. Joey," but it was 
impossible to say definitely what it was intended for. 

It is noteworthy that Mr. L. makes this exj^eriment follow imme- 
diately aftei- the loeked-slate message, and places the " tumbler " trick 
last, while Mr. R. makes it follow the " tumliler '' trick, which he puts 
immediately after the locked-slate experiment. I do not recall what Mr. 
Davey told me al^out his precise operations in connection with these 
writings, but from my knowledge of his methods, aided by his note, I 
infer that he cleaned the top of the slate, the underside of which was 
already prepared with the conclusion of the message, that he placed 
this slate under the table, turning it over in the process according to 
the singie-slate method described on p. 2-50. He then wrote " Good 
bye, Joey," on the then under surface of the slate with his thimble- 
pencil, brought the slate up and laid it upon the table, when the words 
"hope to see you again, Joey," were manifest. These vt'ords were 
rubbed out, and this slate placed upon another slate, and both slates 
together placed under the table, being reversed in the process. He 
then wrote " Sept. Joey " on the under surface of the bottom slate, 
brought both slates together to the top of the table, and lifted the top 
slate, when the words " Good-bye, Joey," appeared on the upper surface 
of the bottom slate. He ruljbed these out, put this slate upon the 
other, and placed them once more under the table, reversing them as 
he did so, and then possiljly, as though changing his mind, placed them 
on top of the table again. When the top slate was removed, " Sept. 
Joey " appeared on the upper surface of the bottom slate. 

But I wish to draw the reader's j^aiticular attention here, for a 
reason which will aj^pear later, to the fact tliat one witness states that 
the communication came upon a single slate held underneath the table 
(a statement which Mr. Davey confirms), ;ind the other that it came 
between two slates placed on top of the table. Nor is this the only 
instance of a mistake of this kind in the reports. Comparing the 
accounts of the letter-paper incident which occurred in Sitting VII., 

Mr. Dcivey's Imitations by Conjuring, d-c. 


and which I have quoted on p. 277, it will be noticed that in one account 
the experiment is described as having been made with a single slate 
held underneath the table, in the other as having been made with two 
slates above the table. The experiment was actually made with two 
slates which were probably finally held under the table. 

Another important discrepancy between the reports of Sitting "VII. 
occurs in the case of the ordinaiy two-slates experiment. Mr. V., after 
referring to the locked slate and the v/riting of a question therein, ikc, 
describes experiments [a] aird [6], and then proceeds to describe experi- 
ment [c] as follows : — 

Two ordinary slates taken, cleaned by us, but not marked, pieces of red 
and green clialk introduced between theni, the slates then deposited in front 
of the medium in full view, and about four or five inches from the edge of 
the table and from the medium's body ; the medium rested one of his hands 
on the upper surface of the top slate, and my hand reposed on his. 

After a pause the sound of writing distinctly audible ; this continued for 
about 15 seconds, then the medium remarked, ' ' What a pity I forgot to ask 
you what colour you would have it in." Mr. M. suggested green ; sound 
of writing continued for about five seconds longer, then ceased. On the 
removal of the top slate, the bottom slate was found to be completely 
covered with writing. The writing ran in diagonal lines across the slate ; 
the writing was upside down with respect to the medium ; the writing was 
firm and distinct in character. The first three-quarters of the message were 
written in red, the last quarter in green. 

Mr. M. is much more accurate in his account of this incident, and 
I include, in the quotation which I give, his reference to other 
experiments which came between the beginning and the end of the 
two-slates experiment. There is no clue to the modus operandi, for 
the uninitiated reader, in Mr. V.'s account, but there are very obvious 
clues, for any careful student of the series of reports, in Mr. M.'s 
account. Mr. M. describes the locked slate, kc, tkc, and then, 
proceeds : — ■ 

Mr. Davey then showed me some ordinary slates, in wooden frames. 
These I helijed him to wash and dry. We then took our seats round the 
table. . . . Mr. Davey asked Mr. Pinnock to place the locked slate 
under his (Mr. Pinnock's) coat and then button up the coat. 

[c] We now took three slates, on one of them we placed three fraguients 
•of crayon, two of which were red, the other green, we then covered uj) this 
slate with another and left them on the table in full view. 

[a] On the third slate we also put a piece of crayon and then held the 
slate underneath one flap of the table which we put up for the pur- 
pose. . . . We sat in this way talking and smoking for some time, 
twenty minutes to half an hour I should say, nothing whatever occurring. 
At last Mr. Davey asked me to change places vvitli Mr. Pinnock. This I did 
and thus had one of my hands on the slate. Mr. Davey now said, that in 
the manner usual at seances we would ask questions of an imaginary being ; 



Mr. JR. Hodgson. 

and he said, " Are you going to do anything to-night, Joey 1 " After a sliorfc 
pause he repeated the question, and then I felt the slate vibrate as if being- 
written on, and could hear a scratching noise ; we took the slate from under 
the table-flap and saw the word "yes" written over Mr. V.'s initials, and 
I particularly noticed that the writing was towards Mr. Davey, and upside 
down to him, and in all we saw afterwards this was the case. 

[U] I now asked a question as to tlie whereabout of a person at that time, 
not knowing the answer myself ; we waited for some time without any result, 
when Mr. Davey asked me to again change places with Mr. Pinnock. 

[d, f, </, &c.] I did so, and Mr. Davey told Mr. Pinnock to place the locked 
slate on the table beside the two slates we liad left face to face, and we also 
lifted the uppermost of these two slates and found tlie slates still quite clean, 
with the three pieces of crayon between them. We again waited some time 
with no results ; meantime, having a discussion as to mediumship of different 
people, and then Mr. Davey asked if I were a medium. After a pause I 
heard vigorous scratchings on the two slates left face to face on the table and 
on which Mr. Davey's arm was resting, his two hands being engaged, one in 
holding the slate under the table flap, the other in holding Mr. V.'s 
hand ; the scratching lasted roughly under ten seconds, and I expected to see 
a dozen words or so, and was therefore amazed to discover, when the top slate 
was lifted, that the underneath slate was covered with writing from corner to 
corner, and also the writing was not straight across the slate, but was across 
it diagonally ; three-quarters of the writing was in red, the other quarter in 
green, and no cruijon was left. 

Now, the reader will easily infer from Mi'. M.'s account that the two 
slates wei'e placed in position by Mr. Davey and were wrongly supposed 
by the sitters to have been taken from those cleaned by them some time 
— not immediately — previously. After studying the accounts of Sittings- 
IV., especially the reasoning by Mr. Padshah, and after considering that 
the slates used wei'e Mr. Davey's, the reader will also infer that the 
under sui-face of the bottom slate was already covei'ed with the writing 
afterwards found. He will then argue that if a series of movements 
such as those described by Mr. Russell (see p. 264) could be completely 
oniittetl from the I'eport of Mr. Padshah, they might also have occurred 
in Sitting VII., although they are not recorded in the reports of that 
sitting. But more instructive even than these clues in Mr. M.'s account 
to Mr. Davey's modus ojjerandi, is the fact that Mr. V. describes the 
steps of the experiment as though they came in immediate sequence; 
whereas we learn from Mr. M. that aljuut half an hour elapsed between 
the first and last steps of the experiment, and that during this interval 
experiments were being made with a single slate. These experiments 
[a] and [6] are described by Mr. V., but they are described as occurring- 
before the commencement of [c]. 

I shall give one more illustration of differences between reports of 
the same sitting before proceeding to consider in detail those (slate- 
jvriting) sittings which Mr. Wallace has mentioned as being, apparently, 

Mr. Bavey's Imitations by Conjuring, dr. 283 

particularly hard to explain. In his report of Sitting VII. Mr. V. 
writes : — ■ 

At the request of the medium, Mr. P. wrote a question in the book-slate 
(I shall call this slate A in future) ; he then locked it and pocketed the key. 
Neither Mr. M. nor I knew the nature of the question at the time. The slate 
was left for some minutes upon the seat of an arm-chair, but was subsequently 
transferred first to Mr. P.'s coat, and then to the table at which we sat. 

Later on, after recounting experiments with a single slate and with 
two slates, Mr. V. continues : — 

The medium and Mr. P. placed tlieir hands upon slate A, which had 
remained in sight in front of the latter since the commencement of the 
stance. The sound of writing audible almost immediately. Mr. P. opened 
slate, and we found tlie question he had written, together with the accom- 
panying answer. 

Turning now to Mr. M.'s account, we find that he also mentions 
that Mr. Pinnock, at the beginning of the sitting, wrote a question in 
the slate, locked it and kept the key. He says nothing, however, as to 
what was done with the slate at that time, but goes on to describe, as 
the next events, the examination of the table, the cleaning of ordinary 
slates, seating themselves at the table, &c. He then writes : " Mr. 
Davey asked Mr. Pinnock to place the locked slate under his (Mr. Pin- 
nock's) coat and then button up the coat." Then follows his description 
of the two-slates experiment, which I have quoted above (p. 282), on 
reference to which it will be seen that Mr. Pinnock placed the locked 
slate on the table before any writing had been obtained between the 
two single slates. After the writing between the two slates was obtained,, 
the locked-slate expei-iment was proceeded with. 

Mr. Davey now put his hand on the locked slates which had been left 
on the table since Mr. Phuiock took them from under his coat ; we heard 
scratching inside. 

Putting these accounts together, it is obvious where the opportunities, 
for substitution were given. B might have been substituted for A 
shortly after A was locked up and while it was resting on the arm- 
chair as described by Mr. V., so that it was really B that Mr. P. placed 
in his pocket (a desirable place lest the sitter should think of examining 
it before A was re-substituted). The re-substitution of A was easy 
while the sitters Avere absorbed in the long message that appeared 
between the two slates. ■ 

Compare, with these reports, those of Mr. R. and Mr. L. of the- 
locked-slate experiment in Sitting I. The first mention of this ex- 
periment by Mr. L. occurs after the experiments with the single slate 
and with the two slates together. He writes : — 

Mr. Davey then produced a "locked slate," which I examined most 
minutehj, and, as far as I was able to judge, the surfaces were genuine slata 

u 2 


Mr. M. Hodgson. 

and had not undergone any process of preparation which would aid him in 
obtaining writing. A small crumb of pencil was inserted, and the slate 
closed and locked by Mr. R. The key was then given into my possession. 
We then placed our hands in an exactly similar position as before, and Mr. 
R. having repeated the question, ' ' Will the Emperor of Germany live 
tlirough the year ? " I very soon heard the pencil travelling over the surface of 
the slate. After the lapse of about four minutes the slate was carefully 
unlocked by Mr. R. , and the pencil very much worn was found at the place 
where the writing ended. 

From this account it would seem that the first inspection of the 
locked slate almost immediately preceded the production of the writing, 
but it appears from Mr. R.'s account that the slate was inspected and 
locked at the very beginning of the sitting, and was put by him in the 
pocket of his coat. After describing the exjDeriments with a single 
slate and with double slates, he continues : — ■ 

The next experiment was with Mr. Davey's closed slate. After it had 
been produced from my pocket we laid it on the table locked and with the 
small piece of jjencil inside, joined hands as before' and the question was put, 
" Will the Emperor of Germany live through the presel^t year?" Imme- 
diately the writing began, exactly the same as on previous occasions, and 
v/hen after the space of 4 minutes (about) I carefully unlocked the slate we 
found the following wonderful message. 

If the reader will compare these accounts with the accounts of the 
locked-slate experiment in Sitting VII., and especially with that by Mr. 
M., he will at once surmise that the locked slate was produced from 
Mr. R.'s pocket before the communication was obtained between the 
two slates in the preceding experiment, and that while the sitters were 
absorbed in its contemplation Mr. Davey substituted B for A. But the 
important point to notice is not how the trick was done. The impor- 
tant point is that just as we have seen from the reports of Sitting VII. 
that a witness may describe the steps of the Uoo-slates ex^xriment as 
though they occurred in immediate sequence, with no other experi- 
ments intervening, whereas in reality the last steps were sej^arated 
from the first by an interval of half an hour, during which other ex- 
periments were made with a single ordinary slate, and the locked slate 
also claimed attention : — so here we find, from the reports of Sitting I., 
that a witness may describe the steps of the locked-slate exjKriment as 
occurring in immediate sequence, with no other experiments intervening, 
whereas in reality the last steps were separated from the first by an 
interval during which various experiments were made with a single slate 
and with two slates together. 

Bearing in mind, then, these two special possibilities of error and 
also the other possibilities of error to which I have drawn attention on 
pp. 260, 263, 269, all of ivhich are sufficiently demonstrated hy comjmring 
the reports of the sitters themselves, let us now consider in detail the 

Mr. Daveys Iviitations by Conjuring, dx. 285 

reports of Sittings XI. and XII., which Mr. Wallace has particularly 
mentioned [Joxirnal S.P.R., March, 1891) as needing explanation. 

The report of the experiments in Sitting XI. is as follows : — ■ 

[a] After I had finished examining the [locked] slate, Mr. Davey asked 
me to write in the slate any question I liked while he was absent from the 
room. Picking up a piece of grey crayon, I wrote the following question : 
"What is the specific gravity of platinum?" and then having locked the 
slate and retained the key, I placed the former on the table and the latter in 
my pocket. 

After the lapse of a few minutes I heard a distinct sound as of writing, 
and on being requested to unlock the slate I there discovered to my great 
surprise the answer of my question : ' ' We don't know the specific gravity, 
Joey." The pencil with which it was written was a little piece which we had 
enclosed, and which would just rattle between the sides of the folded slate. 

Having had my hands on the slate above the table, I can certify that the 
slate was not touched or tampered with during the time the writing was 
going on. 

[6] Next ; having taken an ordinary scholar's slate and placed a fragment 
of red crayon upon it, Mr. Davey placed it under the flap of the table. I held 
one side with my hand as before. I then heard the same sound as previously, 
and when the slate was placed on the table I found the following short 

address distinctly written : ' ' Dear Mr. S , — The substitution dodge is 

good ; the chemical is better, but you see by the writing the spirits know a 
trick worth two of that. This medium is honest, and I am the only true 
Joey." The writing was in red crayon, and was in regular parallel straight 

[c] Then, again, Mr. Davey requested me to place a small fragment of 
slate pencil in the lock slate, which latter had been previously cleansed with 
sponge by me. Respecting the method of closing the slate, &c., everything 
was done as in t]ie first instance ; the slate was locked, and I retained the key. 

As soon as the sound of writing was over I picked the slate from off the 
table, where it had been lying right under my eyes, unlocked it, and read as 
follows : " We are very pleased to be able to give you this writing under these 
conditions, because with your special knowledge upon the subject you can 
negative the theory of antecedent preparation of this slate as advanced by 
certain wiseacres to explain the mystery. — ' Joey.' " The fact that the pencU 
when removed from the interior of the slate had diminished in size and showed 
distinct traces of friction convinces me that it was the pencil and nothing else 
which produced the caligraphy. If the particles talien from the pencil by 
friction did not go on the surface of the slate, where could they go ? 

[(£] Lastly, as requested by Mr. Davey, I took a coin from my pocket 
without looking at it, placed it in an envelope and sealed it up. I am certain 
that neither Mr. Davey nor myself knew anything about the coin. I then 
placed it in the book-slate together with a piece of pencil, closed it as 
previously and deposited it on the table ; and having placed my hands with 
those of Mr. Davey on the upper surface of the slate, waited a short time. I 
then unlocked the slate as requested, and to my intense amazement I found 
the date of the coin written, by the side of the envelope containing it. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

The seal and envelope (which I have now) remained intact. 

This last feat astonished me more than the others, so utterly imj^ossible 
and abnormal did it appear to me. I may also mention that everything 
wliich was used, including the cloth and sponge with which the slates were 
cleansed, were eagerly and thoroughly scrutinised by me, and I failed to 
detect anything in the shape of mechanism of any kind. 

Now, that this report is very scanty and inadequate is obvious on 
the face of it, and Mr. Davey assured me that there were other ex- 
periments tried of which no mention appears in the report. But I do 
jiot propose to depend, for my explanations of this sitting, simply and 
merely upon either my remembrance of conversations with Mr. Davey 
or my detailed knowledge of his methods. I am anxious that students 
should learn how to interpret for themselves such accounts as these, 
and it seems to me that I can best achieve this result by pointing out, 
to begin with, some of the most obvious indications, which we iind in 
the report itself, of its deficiencies, afterwards amending the rej^ort as 
I'egards its most flagrant- misdescriptions. We shall then easily see 
how the tricks were performed. 

In the first place, then, let us note that various important circum- 
stances receive no mention whatever in the report. Mr. S. tells us 
that after he locked the slate in experiment [a] he placed it on the 
table, and "after the lapse of a few minutes" he heard "a distinct 
sound as of writing," cfec. But he tells us absolutely nothing as to 
what happened during this interval which he describes as a " few 
minutes." He does not even mention the return of Mr. Davey to the 
room. The locked slate might have been changed a hundred times for 
all that ajjpears to the contrary in the sitter's account. What he 
certifies is " that the slate was not touched or tampered with duri7ig 
the time the [sound as of] writing ivas going on^ The I'eader may also 
notice that the sitter does not say anything about enclosing a piece of 
2?encil when he first locked the slate, but it appears afterwards that 
" the pencil with which it [the answer] was written was a little piece 
which we had enclosed." Here is another indication of circumstances 
omitted. When did " we " enclose it 1 

Concerning experiment \h\ Mr. 8. writes : " Having taken an 
ordinary scholar's slate and placed a fragment of red crayon on it, Mr. 
Davey placed it under the flap of the table. I held one side with my 
hand as before." Before ? wlien .? The sitter makes no mention of 
any previous experiment where he assisted in holding a slate under the 
table, yet his remark here carries a clear implication that there was at 
least one such previous experiment. Again, the sitter says that Mr. 
i)awe*/ placed the slate under the table, and he does not say that any ex- 
amination of it was made by himself. There is, therefore, nothing in his 
description of this experiment which conflicts with the supposition that 

Mr. Davey's Tmitations by Conjuring, <L-c. 287 

Mr. Davey took a slate with the writing ah'eady on one side, slipped 
it under the table, turned it over, pressed it against the flap, and then 
asked the sitter to join in holding it against the table. 

Similarly, in his account of experiment [c] there is no express 
statement that conflicts with the supposition that the slate might have 
been changed during the interval between the sitter's examination of 
the slate and the beginning of the sound as of writing. The sitter 
says nothing as to the interval that elapsed between the time of his 
depositing the slate, after locking it, on the table, and the conclusion 
of the sound as of writing, except the remark, " where it had been 
lying right under my eyes," and he does not expressly say that it had 
been " lying right under his eyes " during the whole of the interval in 
question. The inference from his remark, comparing it with his account 
of experiment [«], is that what he meant was that the slate had l)een 
"lying right under his eyes" dui'ing "the time the [sound as of] 
writing was going on." Other experiments occupying, say, half an 
hour might have been in progress between the time of the sitter's 
locking the slate and hearing the sound as of writing. 

Now, we have already seen that witnesses may make numerous 
positive and express statements which are entirely erroneous, the 
result being that if their descriptions an taken as correct, the 
phenomena which they describe are inexplicable by ti'ickery. But, 
curiously enough, in the report before us, the phenomena described in 
the three first experiments mentioned by the sitter are perfectly 
exjilicable by trickeiy without altering a single word of his accounts of 
them. Only in his account of experiment [r/], and scarcely in that, are the 
details narrated in such a way that, as described, trickery seems impossible. 

Let us now revise the report of these four experiments. We may 
do this by consideration of the methods usually adopted by Mr. Davey 
iis revealed in the whole series of sittings, and by consideration also of 
the errors to which a witness is liable, as revealed by a comparison 
of the different reports given of the same sitting. We find, then, that 
Mr. Davey usually began by giving the locked slate to the sitter to 
examine, and jjossibly to write a question therein. He then tried 
experiments with a single slate and with two slates together, and 
afterwards recurred to the locked slate. Observing this general order, 
I ameiid the report as follows, correcting, of course, by no means all 
of its fundamental misdescriptions ; but — and I desire to lay very 
special emphasis on this fact — the changes which I do make, excepting 
the descriptions of the actual substitution of one slate for another, and 
the doings of Mr. Davey while out of the room, are all tvarranted by a 
comparison of the reports of those sittings ivhere more than one in- 
dependent report was made. The additions which I make are in square 
brackets, and the italicised parts explain how the tricks were done. 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

[a] After I had finished examining the slate, Mr. Davey asked me to write 
in the slate any question I liked while he was absent from the room. 
Picking up a jiioce of grey crayon, I wrote the following question : "What 
is the specific gravity of platinum 1 " and then having locked the slate and 
retained the key, I placed the former on the table and the latter in my 

[When Mr. Davey returned to the roonx, he asked me to examine the 
table carefully, which I did. It was an ordinary table, without any trick- 
mechanism of any sort. During this interval Mr. Davey suhstitnted B for 
A. He then gave me some ordinaiy slates to wash and dry. During this 
interval Mr. Davey left the room, opened A and answered the question, and 
returned and re-suhstituted A for B. Mr. Davey now took three slates. 
[?<] On one of them {which had not been in the hands of the sitter, and on 
the under surface of which, was the j>'>'epared message) he placed a fragment 
of red crayon. He then covered up this slate with another and left them on 
tlie table in full view. On the third slate he also put a fragment of crayon 
and held it under tlie table against the flap and asked me to liold it on my 
side. We asked if we sliould get any phenomena, and after a short time the 
sound of writing was heard, and we looked at the slate and found the answer 
" Yes." We then put oin- liands on tlie locked slate.] 

[«] After the lapse of a few minutes I heard a distinct sound as of writing, 
and on being requested to unlock the slate I there discovered to my great 
surprise the answer of my question : ' ' We don't know the sf)ecific gravity, 
Joey." The pencil with which it was written was a little piece which we had 
enclosed, and wliich would just rattle between the sides of the folded slate. 

Having had my hands on the slate above the table, I can certify that tlie 
slate was not touched or tampered witli during the time the writing was 
going on. 

[c] Then, again, Mr. Davey requested me to place a small fragment of 
slate-pencil in the lock slate, which latter liad been previously cleansed with 
sponge by me. Respecting the method of closing the slate, &c., everytliing 
was done as in the first instance ; the slate was locked, and I retained the 

[In the meantime Mr. Davey lifted tlie top slate of the two on the table, 
but there was no writing there. He reversed the positions of the two slates so 
that the slate with, the message on the under surface was noio on top. Mr. 
Davey then took these two slates and jjlaced them under the flap of the table, 
reversing them together as he did so.] 

[b] I held one side with my hand as before. I then heard the same sound 
as j)reviously, and wlien the slate was placed on tlie table I found the following- 
short address distinctly written : "Dear Mr. S , — The substitution dodge 

is good ; the chemical is better, but you see by the writing the spirits know 
a trick worth two of that. This medium is honest, and I am the only true 
Joey." The writing was in red crayon, and was in regular parallel straiglit 

[While the sitter was examining this message Mr. Davey substituted B for 
A. Mr. Davey now put his hands on the locked slate. Very soon the 
sound of writing began.] 

[c] As soon as the sound of writing was over, I picked the slate from oif 

Mr. Lavey's Imitations by Conjuring, d-e. 289. 

the table, where it head been lying right under my eyes, unlocked it, and read 
as follows : " We are very pleased to be able to give you this writing under 
these conditions, because with your special knowledge upon the subject you 
can negative the theory of antecedent preparation of this slate as advanced by 
certain wiseacres to explain the mystery. — ' Joey.' " The fact that the pencil 
when removed from the interior of the slate had diminished in size and showed 
distinct traces of friction convinces me that it was the pencil and nothing else 
whicli produced the caligraphy. If the particles taken from the pencil by 
friction did not go on the surface of the slate, where could they go 1 

l^miile iJtc sitter tvas copyhig the communication Mr. Davey left the room 
and placed the coin in envelope, and envelope in slate A, and ivrote dcUe (see 
p. 271) and returned.] 

[d] Lastly, as requested by Mr. Davey, I took a coin from my jjocket 
without looking at it, placed it in an envelope and sealed it up. I am certain 
that neither Mr. Davey nor myself knew anything about the coin. I then 
placed it in the book-slate together with a piece of pencil, closed it as previously 
and deposited it on the table. 

[Mr. D. showed and explained to me a means commonly employed ui 
producing slate-writing by fraud. While the sitter iras examining the trick 
slate, Mr. Davey substituted A for B. I then took the locked slate.] 

And having placed my hands with those of Mr. Davey on the upper surface 
of the slate, waited a short time. I then unlocked the slate as requested, and 
to my intense amazement I found the date of the coin written, by the side of 
the envelope containing it. 

The reader now will surely need no further enlightenment as to the 
details of events in Sitting XII., or indeed in any other sitting of 
the series, and will, I trust, be disposed to think, with Mrs. Sidgwick 
and myself, that the most stai'tling result of Mr. Davey's investigation, 
is not the wonder of the tricks themselves, but the extreme unreliability 
of the accounts given of them by uninitiated witnesses. And we should 
remember further that these accounts probably represent the most 
accurate reports, as a wdrole, of such performances, ever brought to- 
gether in a series. For the witnesses knew beforehand that they were 
expected to write out accounts of what occurred, and more important 
still, the reports wei'e written within two or three days after the 
sittings. And I may here also refer the reader to my remarks in 
Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. IV., pp. 396-399, concerning the disadvantages 
under which Mr. Davey laboured as compared with the ordinary pro- 
fessional medium. 

The reader may now ask how far his knowledge of Mr. Davey's 
methods may prevent him from being imposed upon by fraudulent 
mediums. Possibly not very much. Frequent observation and practice 
of them, however, would no doubt be of great assistance. SurrejDtitious 
writing on slates held under the table, the substitution, openly made, 
in the case of slates lying on the table, and the manipulations of two 
slates where the writing is originally on the under surface of the lower 


Mr. Ji. Hodgson. 

slate, and eventually is found on the upper surface of the lower slate, 
are, I have no doubt, in frequent use by fraudulent mediums. Eglinton 
was apparently in the haljit of using all these methods. Mr. Davey 
purchased some of his devices from an individual who gave liim to 
understand that they had been procured from an American medium. 
The author of Revelations of a Sinrit-Medium enumerates eight different 
methods of apparently producing " independent slate-writing " without 
the help of a confederate. The most imj^ortant of these is a variation 
of the two-slates experiment combined with the trick-reading of pellets, 
and as I have reports in my possession written by a member of our 
Society who witnessed this general method in the case of two well- 
known American mediums, Watkins and W. A. Mansfield, I quote 
Avhat the author of the book says (pp. 124-126) about this trick. 

Another feat that is astonishing and convincing is accomplished with two 
clean slates. They are thoroughly cleaned and laid side by side upon a table, 
on one side of which sits the "sitter," and opposite him the "medium." The 
" sitter " is now furnished with a small square of soft white i^aper and re- 
quested to write the name of some deceased friend or relative, and with it a 
question. This being done he is requested to fold it ujo small, similar to the 
physician's powder papers. The "medium" has a blank one, folded in the 
same way and palmed between the index and middle finger of the right hand. 
When the " sitter " has folded his pellet, the "medium" reaches forth his 
right hand and takes it between the thumb and index finger and carries it to 
liis forehead. While raising the hand to the head, he slips the written pellet 
down and the blank one in view. After holding it to his forehead a few 
seconds he requests the " sitter " to take it and hold it against his own fore- 
head for a moment. Of course the "sitter" gets the blank pellet and the 
" medium's " hand droits to his lap. He now ojiens the pellet and reads it. 
We will say it reads : "John Smith. Will my business succeed ? George." 

Having read it and palmed it again, he now requests to hold the pellet to 
his forehead again. He effects the cliange and says to the " sitter " : " You 
now hold the pellet in your left hand and I will write the answer." 

This time the "sitter" has the pellet he wrote, and holds it while the 
" medium" takes up a slate, and leaning well back, holds the slate with his 
left hand and body, and writes with the right hand in such a position that 
the " sitter " cannot see the writing. He writes : 

" Dear George, — Your business is sure to succeed beyond your expecta- 
tions. John Smith." 

He now states to the "sitter" that he does not feel at all sure that he has 
Avr^tten the correct answer, and reads aloud : 

" The papers will never be found. Harry White." 

Of course it is not an answer to the question, and the " sitter" so states. 
The "medium" requests that he open tlie pellet and see if it is plainly 
written, with no omission of words. 

While he is doing so the slate is deftly turned the other side \\\). When 
tlie sitter reports that the question is properly and plainly written, tlie 
"medium " apparcntlij rubs off" the line of writing and lays the slate on the 
table, writing underneath. He now announces that lie will let the spirits do 

2Ir. Daveij's Imitations by Conjuring, &c. 291 

their own writing, and putting the other slate on top of the one containing 
tlie writing lays his liands on top of the slate a few seconds, when he opens 
them, and of course there is no writing. 

He now states that he does not believe he can get anything — but, wait, 
lie says, we will put the pellet inside — that may help them. 

The jjellet is placed on the blank slate and the one containing the writing 
laid on top. Now the writing is between the slates. In picking up the two 
.slates together, he turns them over, and the writing is on the bottom slate. 
He now allows the "sitter " to hold the slates alone, and indicates when to 
open them. They are opened, and much astonishment created by the pointed 
answer to the question inside the pellet. 

It is obvious that there may be many variations of this trick. lu 
the sittings with Watkins and Mansfield, accounts of which were 
written by Mr. J ohn F. Brown, an Associate Member of the American 
Branch, each of the sitters (three at one sitting and two at the other) 
wrote sevei'al questions on slips of paper afterwards crumpled or folded 
into pellets. Some of the medium's surreptitious dealings with their 
pellets were observed by the sitters. Mr. Brown's account of the two- 
slates incident at the sitting with Watkins is as follows : — ■ 

Watkins ' ' gave the name of George Hall, and soon commenced to write 
rapidly, covering one side of the slate, then he turned the slate over on his 
arm so that the writing could not be seen, and wrote a few lines more. He 
said we had better copy the messages as it would be more interesting for us 
to have them to refer to. A. took pencil and paper, and Watkins read slowly 
the following communication. . . . The side of the slate containing the 
signature was turned towards us without any concealment ; the opposite side 
was kept from our view. After he had finished reading, and while we were 
looking at the copy, Watkins erased the part we had seen, then turned the 
:slate end for end, rubljed the sponge again over the same side and put the 
slate on the table with writing on its under side. . . . Not long after the 
Oeorge Hall message, a second attempt was made to get independent writing, 
a first attempt having been unsuccessful. The previous attempt was shortly 
before the first message, and its lack of success gave Watkins the excuse for 
writing himself. A bit of pencil was now laid on the top of a clean slate and 
the slate with the writing already on it lifted from the table and placed ujjon 
the other. Watkins then took hold of them both, waved them in the air, 
and, as he brouglit them back, turned them over so that the slate now under- 
neath had writing on the upper side. All this was distinctly followed by us 
both, and we were looking for writing just where it appeared." 

The writing that appeared, as Mr. Brown points out, was doubtless 
what Watkins had written when he was pretending to write the first 
part of the George Hall message ; and when he pretended to read the 
George Hall message from the slate he " made it up " as he proceeded 
until he tui'ned the slate over. 

I witnessed yet other slight variations at a, sitting with a Mrs. 
Gillett. Under pretence of " magnetising " the pellets prepared by the 
sitter, or folding them more tightly, she substitutes a pellet of her own 


3Ir. H. Hodgson. 

for one of the sitter's. Reading the sitter's pellet below the table, she 
writes the answer on one of her own slates, a pile of which, out of the 
sitter's view, she keeps on a chair by hei' side. She then takes a second 
slate, places it on the table, and sjaonges and diies both sides, after 
which she takes the first slate, and turning the side upon which she 
has written towards herself, rubs it in several places with a dry cloth 
or the ends of her fingers as though cleaning it. She then places it,, 
writing downward, on the other slate on the table, and sponges and 
dries the upper surface of it. She then j^retends to take one of the 
pellets on the table and put it between the two slates. What she does, 
however, is to bring the jjellet up from below the table, take another 
of the sitter's pellets on the table into her hand, and place the pellet 
which she has brought up from below the table between the slates, 
keei^ing in her hand the pellet just taken from the top of the table. 
The final step is to place a rubber band round both slates, in doing 
which she turns both slates over together. She professes to get the 
writing without the use of any chalk or pencil. Some of her slates, 
are prepared beforehand with messages or drawings. More interesting, 
perhaps, because of its boldness, is her method of pi'oducing writing on 
the sitter's own slates. Under pretence of " magnetising " these she 
cleans them sevei-al times, rubs them with her hands, stands them up' 
on end together, and while they are in this position between herself and 
the sitter she writes with one hand on the slate-side nearest to herself, 
holding the slates erect with the other hand. Later on, she lays both 
slates together flat on the table again, the writing being on the under- 
most surface. She then sponges the upper surface of the top slate, 
turns it over, and sponges its other surface. She next withdraws the 
bottom slate, places it on top and sj^onges its top surface, keeping its 
under surface carefully concealed. The final step, the reversal, is made, 
as in the other case, with the help of the rubber band. Mrs. Gillett has 
probably other methods also. Those which I have described were all 
that I witnessed at my single sitting with her. 

In many records which have been written of experiences with 
" pellet mediums," the writers affirm that the medium never touched 
their pellets. In the case of such records we are fully justified in 
applying our general conclusions, drawn from a consideration of the 
errors made by sitters with Mr. Davey, although Mr. Davey did not, 
at any of the sittings reported, use the " pellet " device. If a bond 
fide witness can report with confidence that he held his hands on the 
slate and watched it continuously during the experiment, when in 
reality he completely forgot about it for an appreciable interval during, 
which it was manipulated by the " medium," he can equally report that 
he watched his pellets the whole tune, and that they were not touched 
or tampered with Ijy the medium, although as a matter of fact the 

Mr. Bavey's Imitations hy Conjuring, d-c. 


medium did tovich them, and did substitute one pellet for another. A 
good instance of this has l^een brought to my recollection by the 
following memorandum, which I have just found among my notes : — : 

October 8th, 1888. 

On Saturday morning, October 6th, Mrs. [Q.] called, and during the 
•conversation referred to the medium Watkins, and a conversation we had 
had concerning him the previous week. She had tlien been profoundly 
influenced by sittings which she had with him, and had been most strenuous 
in denying tliat Watkins touched the pellets in any way, although admitting 
that Watkins had rolled up one jjiece of pajier as specimen, and left it on tlie 
table, and she was unable to say what had afterwards become of it. She had 
also been positive that Watkins did not tamper with the slates whicli she 
was holding. 

On Saturday morning Mrs. [Q.] told me that since leaving me the previous 
week she had recalled that twice, at least, Watkins had touched the pellets, 
once when he moved one pellet aside, saying " this is mine," and on another 
occasion when he took up a pellet and asked her to pinch it up a little 

Lapse of memory again, we must note, I'ather than mal-observation. 
Similarly, Mr. Padshah originally scouted the suggestion that he had 
lost perception of the locked slate, l)ut when I assured him positively 
that he had lost perception of it, he was finally able to discover, in a 
dim recess of memory, on its way to oblivion, the occasion of the loss. 
And Mr. Padshah's report was written immediately after the sitting. 
TV^hen we reflect on circumstances like these, how manifestly absurd 
appears the reliance which so many Spiritualists place upon reports of 
" psychographic " and kindred phenomena, where the lapse from memory 
jof possibly a single apparently trivial detail vitiates the whole record of 
the uninitiated witness. 

Slade also uses the two-slates method, as appears from the following 
account of a sitting which I had with him in February, 1891 : — 

February 10th, 1891. 
Sitting with Slade, 11 a.m., February 3rd, at 229, East 14th-street, New 
York, with Mr. Z. 

Second room — simple table with two leaves — large Pembroke. On 
further side of table was a small table close to the large table and close to 
the wall, with a cloth over it lianging down. [The accompanying rough 
^diagram will illustrate the positions.] 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 




Mr. Z. 

R. H. 

Slade took two .slates from the little table, upon which there were four, ancl 
showed them to us. He turned them over and let us turn them over — 
they were clean. He tlien replaced them on the small table, and sug- 
gested trying to get "raps." He asked if Mr. Davis was present — three 
raps, .lust before this he sat somewhat facing me, with right leg visible and 
left leg partly so, saying, "Notice my position." Almost immediately, 
however, he turned sijuare towards the table and his left leg disappeared 
from view entirely. The raps, which continued for some time — two or three 
minutes — might easily have been produced by his foot. All our hands were 
together upon tlie table. 

Slade then took one of the replaced slates from the side table, put a piece 
of pencil on it (he had a box full of small fragments on the table), and held 
it with liis right hand under the table for a short time. He did not keep the 
slate close to the taljle. No result. He then replaced the slate on the 
table, and then took from the side table one of the two slates which we had 
not inspected (the surface of which was much newer looking), and placed 
it on top of the slate No. 1. Then seizing liotli slates together with his left, 
hand, he turned them over and laid them on the right arm of Mr. Z., 
slanting away fr(_)m me. Almost directly the soimd as of writing was lieard. 
Slade's fingers were concealed behind the slate, but I observed the tendons 
worlcing in his wrist. 

The message was an ordinary general statement signed by the name 
Davis. The writing, of course, was already on the under surface of slate 
No. 3 when Slade took it from the side table. 

Then Slade took the clean slate and held it under the table — then said, 
" They're taking it away from me," and stooped and pressed ujj against the 
table as though his arur was being drawn under. Half of the slate then 
became visiljle [at A] facing me to the riglit, tlien disappeared, and shortly 

31r. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring , <£r. 


after struck me at tlic lower part of my waistcoat and fell to the floor. All 
this might easily have been done by Slade with his feet. 

He jjlaced the slate on the table again and turned it over. It was clean. 
Then he took it in his left hand, and stooped down somewhat to the left. I 
then heard a sound as of a slate slipping to the floor, and conjectured from 
the position of the .upper part of his left arm that he was substituting the 
slate which we had just seen to be clean for slate No. 5, which was probably 
out of sight and leaning against the leg of the little table. (See Tlie Scijbert 
CommissioH OK Bpiritiialism, p. 74.) In making the substitution I suppose 
that one of the slates slipped on the floor. However, he Ijrought this slate 
(No. 5) to the top of the table, took No. 2 or 4 (I am not sure which) and 
placed No. 5 on top of it. Then seizing both slates together with his right 
hand, he turned them over and laid them on my left arm slanting away from 
me and away from Mr. Z. Almost immediately the sound as of writing- 
began — but the slates slid along my arm slightly, bringing Slade 's fingers in 
gentle contact with my arm, and I could feel the motion of a finger or 
fingers moving backwards and forwards. Slade also noticed the contact, and 
drew the slates up further so that his hand did not touch my arm. 

The writing was a general kind of message, signed by T. Z. — the name of 
Mr. Z.'s father, — but as Mr. Z., at a sitting ten days before, had been 
specially asked by Slade what his father's name was, there was no test. The 
two writings were evidently by the same hand. 

After this, Slade asked me to write a question on the side of a slate 
(No. 2 or 4) remote from himself. I wrote, ' ' Fred, will you give me a test 
if y< iu are here ? " 

Slade took the slate in his right hand with the question on the under 
surface and held it under the table, not close to the leaf. Almost imme- 
diately the slate rubbed past my left knee, suggesting that Slade was turning 
the slate over. I then observed him furtively looking downwards, and he 
shortly asked )ne if I had asked two questions. I replied. No. After 
waiting a little longer, he said that he felt that there was no influence 
present — the joower, he thought, was exhausted, and he could generally tell 
when it left him. He thought it was no use sitting any longer. He suggested 
that I should have another sitting soon, alone. 

(Mr. Z. thought the writing between the slates remarkable, and had no 
idea whatever of the trick movements, &c., made by Slade. I explained the 
details to him immediately after we left.) 

There remained to ascertain the truth of my conjecture concerning slate 
N(_). 5. I requested permission to thoroughly examine the large table, and 
began by turning it completely over to my right, so that I could see the corner 
where I supposed the fifth slate to be. As I did this, Slade carelessly stooped 
down, picked up the fifth slate from the floor, close to the foot of the small 
table, and laid it by the other slates on the table. 

Further, I have proof that Mr. Davey's general methods are easily 
discoverable from the reports themselves by persons who have paid 
si^ecial attention to the production of such phenomena by trickery. 
About a year ago I became acquainted with a Mr. AV. 8. Davis, of New 
iTork, a printer by profession, who was making himself familiar witli 


3Ir. B. Hodgson. 

the methods used l)y fraudulent mediums in rope-tying, slate-writing, 
materialisation, and other " physical phenomena." I requested him to 
read the accounts of the sittings with Mr. Davey and write me a 
description of the methods which he supposed Mr. Davey used. His 
descriptions were practically connect throughout, and indeed he gave 
additional variations of some of the methods. The only cases where 
the reports failed to give him sufficient clues were the book incidents, 
where the communication was prepared beforehand and the book was 
"forced." Mr. Davis himself has given some sittings which have been 
regarded as specially remarkable by various Spiritualists of New York 
and Brooklyn, and l^rief accounts of these have appeared in some 
Spiritualistic j^apers. Mr. Davis informs me that he never claimed 
that he was assisted in any of his performances by " departed spirits," 
and as a matter of fact, they were all due to trickery, and he has 
explained to me his methods in detail. It may be interesting to compare 
the reports given by " Spiritualists " of a sitting with Mr. Davis with 
his account of what actually occurred. But I shall first give the 
explanation of Mr. Davey's " materialisation " seance which has been 
furnished by Mr. Munro, who assisted Mr. Davey, or rather, I should 
say, actually produced the phenomena. 

The following is the report by Mr. R. of the sitting for materiali- 
sation : — 

On Thursday evening, the 7th October, 1886, I was present at a seance 
lield by Mr. Davey, at his house. There were in all eight persons, myself 
included. We took our seats at 7.30 p.m., round an ordinary dining-room 
tal)le (in the dining-room of the house), which, at Mr. Davey's request, we 
examined carefully, as also any other objects in the room which demanded 
our attention. The door of the rooni was locked, and I placed the key in my 
pocket, it was also sealed with a slip of gummed paper ; the gas was then 
turned out, so that we were left in darkness. A musical box was wound iqj, 
and set to play an air, with the object, as I suppose, to enliven the proceedings ! 
I held Mr. Davey's right hand, his left was held by Mrs. [J.] ; the rest 
joined hands, so that during the seance a continual chain was formed which 
was maintained the whole time. After we had remained some time thus, 
various noises as of a shuffling of feet, &c., were heard in dilFerent parts of the 
room, and I distinctly felt something grasp my right foot ; almost inmiediately 
I was touched on tlie forehead by a cold liand, which, at Mr. Davey's request, 
also touched those that wished it. Tlie musical box was lifted, and although 
it was dark I fancied I saw it, surrounded by a pale light, descend through the 
air ; it certainly struck me lightly on the side of the head, then it was again 
raised, and deposited on the table. 

The hand which touched me was cold and cUtmmii ; it evidently belonged 
to a most courteous and obliging spirit, for it did exactly what we desired ! and 
at my wishing to feel the full palm on the back of my head (so as to ascertain its 
shape and size) it rested there for fully three seconds ; it was, however, a 
somewhat weird experience I Various raps were now heard, a gong sounded 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, d-c, 297, 

behind my back, and we were told by Mr. Davey to pay attention, as some- 
thing wonderful was about to take place. Faintly, but gradually growing more 
distinct, a bluisli white liglit apjaeared hovering about our heads ; it gradually 
developed more and more till at lengtli we beheld what we were told was the 
head of a woman. This apparition was frightful in its ugliness, but so distinct 
that everyone could see it. The features were distinct, the cheek bones 
prominent, the nose aquiline, a kind of hood covered the head, and the whole 
resembled the head of a mummy. After favouring those of the company 
who wished to see its full face by turning towards them, it gradually vanished 
in our presence. The next spirit form was more wonderful still ; a thin streak 
of light appeared behind Mr. Davey, vanished, apj^eared again in another 
part of the room, and by degrees developed into the figure of a man. The 
extremities were hidden in a kind of mist, but the arms, shoulders, and head 
were visible. The figure was that of an Oriental, a tliick black beard covered 
his face, his head was surrounded by a turban ; in his hands he carried a book 
wliich he occasionally held above his head, glancing now and then from under- 
neath it. The face came once so near to me that it appeared to ^)e only twO' 
feet from mine. I tlius could examine it closely. The eyes were stony and 
fixed and nevei- moved once. The complexion was not dusky, but very white ; 
the expression was vacant and listless. After remaining in the room for a few 
seconds, or rather a minute, the apparition gradually ri>se, and appeared tO' 
pass clean through the ceiling, brushing it audibly as it passed through. The 
seance here terminated ; the gas was turned on again, and everything appeared 
the same as when we first sat down ; the door was unlocked, the seal being 
found intact. I will mention that during the whole of the seance I held Mr. 
Davey's right hand, with but one exception, when it was found necessary for 
him to light the gas to see to wind up the musical box, as it liad stopped 
playing. Nothing tuas prepared beforehand ; the seance was quite casual ; we 
could have sat in any room we wished, and we had full liberty to examine 
everything in the room, even to the contents of Mr. Davey's pockets, which 
were emjjtied (before beginning the seaTice) by him on the table before our 
eyes ! 

October 8th, 1886. John H. R. • 

Mr. Munro's Account. 

Although Mr. Davey was kind enough to instruct me in the methods of 
his slate-writing, I was not present at any of the sittings described in Vol. IV. 
of the Proceedings, with the single exception of the materialisation seance, 
which is the only one published in which confederacy was employed. 

The explanation which I am about to give of tliat seance may be of in- 
terest as indicating how much or, I should rather say, liow little, accounts of 
such phenomena correspond with the facts which actually occur. And the 
sitting for materialisation is eminently adapted for this purpose, inasmuch 
as the accounts were written so very soon after the sitting ended, two of 
them at least having been completed on the same evening. At the same 
time I should like to remind the reader that any explanation I can give of 
the phenomena can be but partial. I can only inform him of the mere 
mechanical processes which were employed. A full explanation would involve 
a description of the mental attitude of the sitters and of every word and ges- 
ture of the medium whereby that mental state was altered. This I canrOj 



Mr. R. Hodgson. 

describe, and yet it is of infinitely greater importance than any of the tricks 
and devices used in the manufacture of the spirit forms. The latter might 
have been produced by a host of other methods, and the method actually 
employed does not appear to me to be a matter of much consequence. It is 
only for the reason stated above that I consider its jjublication of any value. 

With slate-writing seances it is quite different, for in them the mechanical 
processes — the mere "conjuring" — which can be used are necessarily very 
limited. But when we darken the room and keep the investigators in 
ignorance of what they are to observe, the possibilities for trickery are 
infinitely increased, whilst the control which the medium must exercise over 
the thoughts and emotions of liis sitters need not be so great. It is not, 
therefore, surprising that Mr. Davey himself introduced the accounts of the 
sittings for materialisation with a sort of half apology, seeing that the testi- 
mony for such plienomena is and must be so much inferior to that for slate- 
writing. To myself it is even surprising that any explanation should have 
been called for in the case of a seance where the facilities for deception were 
so great, and it is almost incredible that an investigator of Mr. Wallace's 
experience should regard it as of equal ov even greater importance than the 
slate-writing experiments. Considering the sensational nature of the phe- 
nomena observed, it is not surprising that the accounts of this sitting show 
an even greater discrepancy with fact than do those of the slate-writing 
stances, and I think it will be well to indicate first of all a few of the more 
imi^ortant errors. 

In the first place, the seance, so far from being the casual affair which Mr. 
H. supposed, had, in fact, been carefully arranged beforehand. I had 
been staying with Mr. Davey for several days before the sitting, and we had 
discussed the details of the materialisation process, and even rehearsed it 
through, the night before it was given. Mr. Davey had also given a similar 
seance in the spring of the sanre year. 

In the second place, the locking and sealing of the door, so carefully 
recorded in all three accounts, was by no means so well calculated to jjrevent 
the entrance of agencies from without as the reporters appear to have 
imagined. The process of "locking" the door, which was performed by Mr. 
Davey himself, although he subsequently gave the key to Mr. R., consisted 
in first locking and then unlocking it. Sealing a door with a piece of 
gummed paper is now a well-known trick. The gummed paper, if i^roperly 
adjusted, adheres firmly to the door when it is opened, and, when it is again 
shut, i^resents all the apfiearances of never having been moved. The 
interesting pait about the sealing in this case is tliat the paper was not 
properly adjusted, and at the end of the seance, Mr. Davey, noticing that 
the gummed paper had fallen down on to tlie ground, hastily stuck it back 
in its place and called Mr. R.'s attention to the fact that the door was still 
sealed — a fact to which he and tlie other sitters readily gave their testimony. 

Tlie third point to whicli I would call especial attention is the exami- 
nation of the room, with which every one of the three reporters was quite 
satisfied, Mrs. J. even going so far as to state " we searched cvcnj article of 
furniture." In spite of this positive statement, the examination was im- 
jjerfectly performed, for in that cupboard beneath the bookstand, which 
was situated furthest from the door, were concealed a gong and several other 
aijpliances, including the female spirit herself. Mr. Davey showed his 

Mr. Davey's Imitations by Conjuring, d;c. 299 

sitters that the other cupboard was empty, but diverted their attention from 
this one so skilfully, that they were afterwards convinced that they had 
examined it also. 

I will now describe what took place at the seance, step by step so far as 
I can remember it. 

It had been arranged to hold the meeting in the dining-room, and Mr. 
Tl.'s statement, "we could have sat in any room we pleased," is not correct. 
Mr. Davey did, indeed, I believe, offer his sitters their choice of rooms. 
But had they selected any other room (and there were only two others 
-which could conveniently have been used for the purpose) he could easily 
liave found some excuse for rejecting it in favour of the dining-room. There 
was no peculiar advantage in this room. It was selected chiefly on account 
of its size, and because it was not overcrowded with furniture. At the same 
time the cupboard behind the medium's chair was conveniently situated. 

With regard to the sitters, four had been expected. The arrival of Mrs. 
J. and Miss W. was, as Mi's. J. remarks, quite unexpected. Mr. R. cer- 
tainly intended to be present, but I am not sure whether he anticipated a 
seance. On their entrance into the dining-room, free leave was given the 
sitters to search every article of furniture, and I think the search was 
pretty well performed until it came to the cupboard under the bookshelf. 
From it Mr. Davey diverted attention by emptying out his pockets before 
his audience — a proceeding which they did not fail to remember as a con- 
clusive proof of the completeness of their search. 

Mr. Davey now " locked " the door in the manner already described and 
the gas was turned down. At the same moment I, who had by this time 
found my way into the passage, and could hear everything which was taking 
place in the room, turned down the gas outside, in order that no light might 
enter the room when the time for my own entry should arrive. A large 
ntiusical box was then started, not, however, as Mr. R. supposed, ' ' to enliven 
the proceedings," but that it might help with Mr. Davey's shuffling of feet 
i}0 cover any noise which I might make in entering the room. 







Mrs. J. 

Mr. R. 

Mr. D. 



X 2 


Mr. R. Hodgson. 

I must now explain tliafc Mr. Davey sat at the end of the table with his 
back turned towards the bookshelf and with the door on his left. Mr. R. 
was on the right, Mrs. J. on the left of the "medium," the other sitters- 
being seated on either side of the table nearer to the window. Having put 
out the gas in the passage I opened the door very slowly and came in 
barefooted, closing the door behind me as noiselessly as I could. In so doing 
I will not be certain that I was not responsible for one or two of the very 
conclusive spirit-raps mentioned in the reports. I now went up to behind 
Mr. Davey's chair, and, after tapping him on the back to indicate my safe 
arrival, proceeded to raise the musical box and wave it to and fro above the 
heads of the sitters, and to make raps in different i:)arts of the room. 

Throughout the seance I maintained a position behind Mr. Davey's chair,, 
never advancing at any time in the direction of the window. The knocks at 
the far end of the room and on the ceiling were made with a long stick which 
I had brought in with me. Touching the sitters on the face, feet, or hands, 
was of course easily managed, and, inasmuch as I had rolled up my sleeves, 
and held my whole hand and forearm in a jug of C(jld water before coming in, 
Mr. R.'s description of the cold clammy hand which touched him was not 
purely imaginative. 

I next opened the cupboard beneath the bookshelf behind and to the left 
of the medium. It contained the gong, which I sounded for some minutes, 
and also the first spirit-form, which I afterwards divested of the black cloth 
with which it was draped. This spirit is graphically described by Mr. R. 
as ' ' an apparition frightful in its ugliness, with cheekbones prominent and 
nose aquiline, the whole resembling the head of a mummy." It was prepared 
as follows : — A mask was taken and fixed upon a thick piece of cardboard. 
Muslin was arranged round the mask, and a thick collar of cardboard coated 
with luminous paint encircled the whole. The collar had been exposed to 
the sun throughout the day, so that when I uncovered the form it was' 
rendered distinctly visible by the light thrown upon it by the now luminous- 
collar. This spirit-face is interesting as indicating one method of producing 
materialisation phenomena without the aid of an accomplice, for a conjurer 
of Mr. Davey's skill would have had but little difficulty in manipulating it 
in my absence. 

The second spirit was personated by myself. A turban was fixed upon 
my head, a tlieatrical beard covered my chin, muslin drapery hung about my 
shoulders. The book from which I read was a j^ortfolio coated inside with 
luminous paint. It was concealed in the cupboard, where it lay wrajDped up- 
in black cloth, and when this covering was removed the book gaped a little, 
and so gave rise to the thin streak of light whicli Mr. R. describes.. 
Before materialising, I mounted up on to the back part of Mr. Davey's. 
chair, from which position I gained several advantages. , At one moment I 
could bend forwards so as to appear close to the table in front of tlie medium, 
and at another, by standing upright, I could bring my head close to the 
ceiling. Iiideed, the range of jjossible movement is so great, and the effects 
so startling, that many people have difficulty in believing the above explana- 
tion until they have seen the process rejDeated in a lighted room. My face 
and shoulders were rendered visible by the light thrown upon them by the- 
open "book" which I was supposed to be reading, so that Mr. R. could 

31r. Baveys Imitations by Conjuring, d-c. :301 

not possibly have seen me when I held it above my head. For the "fixed 
and motionless" condition of my eyes I cannot account, the pallor of my 
face was due to flour, "the vacant and listless expression " is natural to me. 

The statement that the apparition appeared to pass clean through the 
■ceiling with a scraping noise occurs in all three reports. It is a curious mis- 
take, founded on a blunder which I made in the acting of my part — a blunder 
■so serious that at the time I thought I had — in part at any rate — betrayed 
the secret of our ghostly methods. When I had, still standing on Mr. 
Davey's chair, risen to my whole height, I gradually elevated the " open " 
book above my head, shut it and firmly pressed the two sides of the cover 
together. But the portfolio had been exposed to the sun all the day and the 
cover had in consequence become warped, so that its free margins were bent 
away from one another. When I pressed them together, they adhered for 
an instant and then burst asunder with a loixd report which was mistaken by 
the listeners for the brushing of the spirit form against the ceiling. 

The seance did not terminate immediately after this, as Mr. R. 's account 
seems to suggest, but a very considerable interval elapsed, during which I 
slowly found my way out of the room. Mr. Davey then lit the gas in the 
dining-room, whilst I at the same time turned up tlie gas in the passage 
outside and then retreated upstairs — there to remain till the sitters should 
depart. I believe the statement that the medium's hands were held con- 
tinuously throughout the seance except when he was turning on the musical 
box or lighting the gas is perfectly correct. 

And now I think I have sufficiently explained the methods em^sloyed in 
■this materialisation seance, and the reader has probably already long ago 
■come to the conclusion that the sitter